Novak Djokovic bites back over ‘judgmental and wrong’ information – ‘I didn’t defy the rules’

Novak Djokovic presser Credit: Alamy
Novak Djokovic presser Credit: Alamy

Novak Djokovic has urged a broadcaster to “be mindful with what you post” after they accused him of “defying” the chair umpire during his first-round match at the Australian Open.

The nine-time champion took on Roberto Carballes Baena on Tuesday and he scored a comfortable 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 win over the Spaniard, but there was one talking point in the opening set.

The 21-time Grand Slam winner took a toilet break at 3-2, but he had a discussion with the chair umpire before he finally made his way off court.

“I need to go [the] toilet,” he told the official. With the umpire probably not hearing him, he shouted: “Hello! Hello! Hello! Hello! Hello! I need to go to [the] toilet.”

The official’s reply was not clear, but he ran off the court before the umpire shouted: “Novak!” He apparently didn’t hear her shouting and made his way to the bathroom.

The commentator said: “Too late and he’s gone. [The] umpire wants a word, but he’s gone. He’s turned a deaf ear.” The co-commentator replied: “Well he’s run off, he’s gotta run back. I’m sure he will be back when she says time.”

The umpire then spoke on her walkie talkie, saying: “I will call time in 15 seconds.”

The reply from the other party involved in the discussions was not clear and the umpire said: “I am calling time now. He has 30 seconds to be back in play.”

And she promptly called “time” and then told Carballes Baena: “Go, go. Be ready to play. If he is not on time he will get penalised.”

By that time Djokovic had emerged from the tunnel and started making his way back to court.

Eurosport published the video on their social media platforms with the caption: “Novak Djokovic defied the umpire to take an early bathroom break in his first match at the Australian Open

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�� Credit: Alamy

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Djokovic, though, wasn’t too happy with the broadcaster’s allegations that he didn’t listen to the official and wrote in an Instagram Story: “Eurosport, please get your information checked before you post something judgmental and wrong.”

Novak Djokovic Instagram Story Credit: Alamy
Novak Djokovic Instagram Story Credit: Alamy

He added in a second story: “Chair umpire allowed me to go to toilet but she told me I don’t have toilet break, just change over break. So she told me (you didn’t capture that with camera) I had to hurry up.

“When I almost exited the court she called me (I didn’t hear) and it was to tell me that toilet was on the opposite side of the court.

“I found one where I went also, and I had to be quick because of the time. I didn’t ‘defy’ her or the rules. She gave me permission and told me to be quick. Next time be mindful with what you post. You have responsibility towards many sports fans that follow your page

�� Credit: Alamy
�� Credit: Alamy

, @eurosport.”

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