“HOW MUCH MORE DO YOU WANNA PLAY!”: Novak Djokovic Yells at Chair Umpire During Italian Open 2021 Battle Against Taylor Fritz

Published 05/11/2021, 11:20 AM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 12, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during his third round match against Taylor Fritz of the U.S. REUTERS/Kelly Defina


World No.1 Novak Djokovic was furious with the chair umpire for not stopping the play as the rain trickled down during his second-round match against Taylor Fritz at Italian Open 2021.

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Djokovic had Taylor Fritz at bay as he controlled the match. The first set had gone the Serbian’s way 6-4. And as the second set went by, the arena saw slight chances of rain. Interestingly, Djokovic was serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set when the rain intensified.

Novak Djokovic takes a drink during his second round match against Taylor Fritz of the U.S. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Throughout his service game, Djokovic was frustrated but continued. Djokovic quickly found himself 30-0 down and later lost the game. Upon losing the game, Djokovic was furious at the chair umpire for not stopping the play. After Djokovic’s outburst, the chair umpire immediately suspended the play.

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“How much do you wanna play? I asked you three times, you are not checking anything,” Djokovic shouted at the chair umpire.

The Italian Open is played on the Foro Italico sports complex in Rome. It is a historic venue for the tournament but unfortunately doesn’t have a retractable roof.

Taylor Fritz, an opponent for Novak Djokovic

Taylor Fritz was always given a chance against Djokovic after his heroics against the same at the Australian Open 2021. From 2-0 down, the American came back to nearly defeat Djokovic. Hence, in Rome, Fritz again had the chance to upset Djokovic.

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After losing the first set, Fritz lost the first game of the second set as well on his serve. However, Djokovic looked shaky as well. Fritz saw multiple breakpoints and finally converted one in the fourth game of the set. Djokovic later broke again to restore his serve advantage, 3-2.

The rain covers are brought on as play is suspended during the second round match between Serbia’s Novak Djokovic and Taylor Fritz of the U.S. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Serving at 4-3, the Serbian had a mammoth service hold where he saved three breakpoints. But then later, as the rain came trickling, so did Djokovic’s troubles and he lost his serve while serving for the match at 5-4. Now at 5-5, the game will begin as both players lose their momentum because of the interruption. It will be interesting to see how Djokovic reacts further in the match.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1095 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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