World No.1 tennis player Novak Djokovic celebrates his 34th birthday today. The Serbian tennis player has impressed his fans and rivals on the tennis court time and again with his stellar performance.However, there have been some controversies and meltdowns that the winner of 18 grand slams has faced over the years as a professional tennis player. Let us take a look at some of them:
1. In 2020, when most of the world was facing a global pandemic and several tournaments were deferred, Djokovic took it upon himself to launch the Adria Tour in Serbia. Djokovic’s disregard to the seriousness of coronavirus invited criticism. The tour saw nealy 4,000 spectators packed in the stadium as players violated every Covid-prevention protocol. Ball kids were seen handling sweaty towels of the players and it was as if the pandemic never happened. So, it was no surprise when Djokovic and his wife Jelena contracted the virus and the tour had to shut down.
2. During the 2020 US Open, Djokovic’s on-court meltdown did not go very well. The tennis player slapped away a ball in anger during the fourth round of the match. Unfortunately,the ball hit the throat of the line judge who required immediate treatment. Djokovic did apologise for his behaviour, however,he was suspended from the tournament nonetheless.
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3. Ahead of the 2021 Australia Open, players were asked to arrive earlier than usual so that they could be quarantined. However, Djokovic had his own set of demands for the organisers. One of the requests included that players should be given private homes with tennis courts.
4. During the same tournament, Djokovic openly expressed his anger after he lost a set. The incident occurred during the Quarter Final match of Australia Open, when Djokovic was down 3-1 in the third set to Alexander Zverev. The Serbian player let out an angered scream and smashed his racket on the court.
😳 Djokovic with easily the most violent racket break that I’ve ever seen. There was even a break to clean up the shards. #Ausopen pic.twitter.com/cHjHuUbMcc— Shahan Ahmed (@shahanLA) February 16, 2021
5. However, this was not the first time that Djokovic lost his cool amidst a match. During the 2018 French Open, and 2019 Monte-Carlo Masters tournament, Djokovic has shown how his racket takes a beating every time he falters.