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US Open: “This incident is still there and it will be there for a while …”, admits Djokovic

After his disqualification in the round of 16 of the US Open, Novak Djokovic presented himself at a zoom press conference on Monday at the Masters 1000 in Rome, where he will resume competition on Wednesday against the Italian Salvatore Caruso or a qualifier.

The world number 1, Novak Djokovic, expected a flood of questions on Monday about his uncontrolled gesture towards a linesman (note: a bullet thrown in the direction of the tarpaulin that hit her in the throat) which earned him a disqualification in the round of 16 of the US Open, against Pablo Carreno Busta. As the exercise drew to a close, the Serbian showed a slight annoyance as to the content of the questions: “This incident is still there, it will still be there and you journalists are very good at reminding me of this incident. … “

“It’s a great lesson”

Calm, calm, the one who begins his 286th week in the skin of No. 1 at ATP (equaling in passing Pete Sampras) did not hide his state of depression after his fatal gesture. “Of course it was a shock to finish the US Open like that,” said Novak Djokovic. “I was shaking. It’s the first time in my career that something like this has happened. It’s true that it would have happened. could have happened to me earlier in my career. It was an unfortunate gesture. There was a lot of speculation, a lot of discussion as to whether it was deserved … I accepted it and moved on. I was sorry for the linesman, I checked that she was fine. I called Laura (editor’s note: the linesman), it relieved me. She obviously did not deserve this, c ‘is a volunteer who loves tennis … Time heals that stuff. But I’ll never forget, that’s a great lesson. “

But Novak Djokovic feels unable to say that it will never happen to him again: “What happened to me is unpredictable. I cannot promise that it will never happen to me again. Everything is possible in life. I will take like a great lesson. We must move forward. “

“There are things you can’t predict,” he continued. “I have my personality, I’ve always had ups and downs in my career. I try to control my emotions. can’t promise this will never happen to me again. I’ll do my best to control myself. Anything is possible in life. I’m going to take this as a big lesson. I’ve talked about it with my team members. You need to go forward.”

“Dominic deserves this title more than anyone”

Novak Djokovic did not go to the end of the final of the US Open which devoted Dominic Thiem against Alexander Zverev. “I watched until the end of the 4th set, he said. I congratulate the guys on their performance. Dominic did a big thing, because losing three Gand Slam finals and starting so badly. Sunday and, finally, winning, it’s strong. But I want to highlight the beautiful scenes at the end of the match. We felt that they were friends, it was a nice message sent. Dominic deserves this title more than anyone and it will change dimensions. I remember my first title in 2008 in Melbourne. It is a huge relief. “

Asked about the extraordinary difficulty of moving so quickly from cement to clay, Novak Djokovic did not deny the challenge: “We see that Dominic Thiem and Sascha Zverev have retired. In my career, I had to be confronted twice in this kind of calendar. A year, after Flushing, I switched to a Davis Cup meeting on indoor clay. We see that Rafa preferred to skip the US Open to train. We will see what goes happen. But it’s good to replay that fast. “

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