“Was Stressed Out”: Novak Djokovic Opens Up on Rain Break in Win Over Taylor Fritz at Italian Open 2021

Published 05/12/2021, 9:49 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Monte Carlo Masters – Monte-Carlo Country Club, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France – April 14, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during his second round match against Italy’s Jannik Sinner REUTERS/Eric Gaillard


Serbian tennis superstar Novak Djokovic has shared his thoughts on the rain break during his Rome opener against American Taylor Fritz.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Persistent drizzle during the third-round clash saw the chair umpire finally call a halt to play halfway through the second set.

The World No.1 was leading by a set when covers came on and the players headed indoors. However, the match was witness to an unsavory incident before rain stopped play.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Novak Djokovic screamed at chair umpire for allowing play despite rain

Djokovic lost his cool and screamed at the chair umpire for allowing play to continue despite the raindrops getting heavier.

Later, speaking to reporters about the incident, the Serb defended the umpire’s decision to suspend play even as conceded that emotions got the better of him as he failed to close out the match and the rainfall got heavier.

“I was stressed out in the end obviously, but I think it was the right call to stop the match,” Djokovic said.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Monte Carlo Masters – Monte-Carlo Country Club, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France – April 14, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his second round match against Italy’s Jannik Sinner REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Djoko says game was evenly poised when it resumed

The Serbian added that when play resumed, the second set was evenly poised and he did well to eventually get a result in his favor in straight sets.

“When I came back, I thought we were quite even actually till the last point. I’m glad that I managed to finish off this match in straight sets,” the reigning Australian Open champion said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Further conceding that he wasn’t at his best, Djokovic said he would work on his game in practice and ensure that he brings a better version of himself to the park in a day’s time.

He will play Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina on Thursday for a place in the quarter-finals. The Serb hasn’t had the best of campaigns on clay thus far, coming into the Italian Open on the back of two straight exits at the Monte-Carlo Masters and Serbia Open.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

“They Will Take Over”: Novak Djokovic Impressed by Thiem, Tsitsipas, Zverev and Other Next-Gens

4 months ago

The 33-year-old went down in straight sets to British No.1 Dan Evans in the Principality and followed up with an unthinkable defeat in his homeland in an epic semi-final against Russian Aslan Karatsev.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Priyabrata Chowdhury

1101 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT