“Why the Rule Is So Vague?” – Novak Djokovic Voices His Opinion on Raging Bathroom Break Debate at US Open 2021

Published 09/03/2021, 9:44 AM EDT
Sep 2, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a shot against Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands in a second round match on day four of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports


Novak Djokovic advanced to the third round of the US Open with a straight sets victory over Tallon Griekspoor late yesterday. As one of the famed ‘Big 3’ players, millions across the world eagerly look forward not just to watching him play, but hearing what he has to say.

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And in the post-match press conference, the World No. 1 gave his opinion on the bathroom break debate that’s doing the rounds.

Novak Djokovic believes there should be a time limit on bathroom breaks

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During his first two matches at the US Open, Stefanos Tsitsipas took long bathroom breaks which changed the momentum in both matches. In fact, the break made a huge difference in his opening match with Andy Murray, who was irked by the Greek’s actions.

Earlier this week, Tsitsipas’ team revealed the break taken by Djokovic during the French Open final as the inspiration behind the Greek’s breaks. Hence, many wondered what the Serbian’s stance is on the raging debate in New York.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 31: Novak Djokovic of Serbia
celebrates after defeating Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune of Denmark during his Men’s Singles first round match on Day Two of the 2021 US Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 31, 2021 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Djokovic admitted Tsitsipas isn’t in the wrong, while calling for a time limit on such breaks. He said, “There should be a limit; as a player, you need to be aware that you are gone for too long and that it affects your opponents. But if we look at it by the book, Tsitsipas did not break any rules.”

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Djokovic: The existing rule is very vague

While giving his opinion, Djokovic also admitted the existing rule gives a lot of liberty to players with such breaks. Hence, he called for a clock to countdown for a specific amount of time for such instances.

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“We definitely need to put a time limit on toilet breaks – whether it’s there, five, six, seven minutes, whatever… A clock needs to be turned on and the countdown begins the moment a player leaves the court. Then you have to respect it,” said the 34-year-old.

“I do not understand why the rule is so vague – you can stay for two, you can stay for twenty minutes. That rule needs to change.”

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With the USTA and ATP admitting a review will take place, both Tsitsipas and Djokovic will focus their attention to on-court action. While Djokovic takes on Kei Nishikori, Tsitsipas faces Carlos Alcaraz in the third round today.

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Sanket Nair

617 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management graduate, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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