Italian Open 2019: Novak Djokovic Has Argument with Media

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Novak Djokovic was accused of not seeking opinions of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal when ATP Chief Chris Kermode was voted out of the council.  Chris Kermode was dismissed as the ATP Chief by the player council during the Indian Wells 2019. Novak Djokovic had said in a statement that the player council was elected to take the decision. In an argument with a reporter, Novak Djokovic said, ” It is unfair to hold him responsible for everything that’s happening.” 

The decision was not welcomed by many. Rafael Nadal had said in a statement, “dismissal of Kermode would stop the process of improving the sport.”  Novak Djokovic, the President of the Player Council was held responsible for this decision. Earlier Novak Djokovic said in a statement, “the ATP structure is a bit flawed and that’s something we have to address. It’s time to really make some changes.”

Novak Djokovic

The Serb was emphatic in a furious nine-minutes interview with the New York Times writer Ben Rothenberg, before the start of Italian Open 2019.

Novak Djokovic feels that he is not the one to be held responsible for the decision. He said, “The way it was presented in the media I didn’t really like it and I don’t think it’s fair you guys point out myself as the decision maker.”

“I am the president of the Council but it consists of ten players, so the majority decides. I’m one of ten. I’m very privileged to be leading the group but I cannot make decisions on behalf of the group, “ added the World No. 1.

Novak Djokovic was asked whether who is accountable for the decision. In an answer to that, he said, “It’s not about accountability, it’s about the way you guys are portraying the whole process. Kind of putting all the weight on one guy. We have representatives on the board so I am not the one voting yes or no. It’s three board representatives, so they have the right and historically they have been doing something against the council because they feel responsible and they feel that’s the right way to represent players in the sport. We have been selected to be representatives but we cannot always influence voting the way they think they should. Why should I always be the one accountable for that if I’m not the one voting?”

Novak Djokovic

Djokovic had an argument with the reporter his sources. He had a dispute about whether Ben Rothenberg sources are reliable and first-hand information or not.

Novak Djokovic also alleged Ben for creating a buzz out of anything. He said, ” You get information from your allegedly reliable source then you write about it, tweet about it, and it creates the buzz, it creates the friction and it creates a story and it creates the whole wave of a tsunami against us. Then what are we supposed to do? React to every single tweet? It’s not fair really.”

“Before understanding the proportions, the ramifications, what you’re doing with every single tweet to our sport, our players. I’m not saying every tweet is wrong, absolutely not. I respect, you’re looking for a story I understand it, I respect you, ” added the 15-time grand slam champion.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic suggested that the media people should understand both the sides of the story before claiming anything. He added, “For me, it’s not fair. If you want to write the whole story and understand both sides you would get a little bit more information rather than calling out the Council or myself.” 

Ben asked Nole, “When I try to get information from you, you don’t give it so I don’t know what you want me to do?”

Novak Djokovic replied furiously, “I am not the president of ATP I understand you want to get information from me. Some information I can give you, some I cannot, I am not in the privileged position to give you. Or, I can, but then it’s not fair towards the president of the ATP or board members who are also supposed to communicate. I’ve been exposed way too much.”

Novak Djokovic

He added that he should not be held responsible for everything. “Everyone holds me accountable for every single thing that happens in tennis at the moment, which I think is unfair because I am not the only one there. I just feel in the way we go about things there is a lack of respect. Just pointing out one guy and putting all the pressure on him, nothing against you personally, but I think the process could be handled differently, ” the Serb added.