Novak Djokovic understands the festering frustration that caused Alexander Zverev to snap in Acapulco, but believes officials made the correct call disqualifying the Olympic gold-medal champion from Acapulco.
World No. 1 Djokovic, who was booted from the 2020 US Open for unintentionally hitting a lineswoman with a stray ball, said the decision to bounce Zverev out of the Acapulco tournament after he struck the base of the chair umpire’s seat three times wth his racquet was “not too harsh. “
“I made mistakes in the past where I had tantrums on the court,” Djokovic told the media in Dubai after defeating Karen Khachanov. “I understand what the player is going through. But, of course, I do not justify his actions. He has, with the words that he had in the statement, handled it in a right way. He said he made a mistake and his actions were not appropriate.
“I think the disqualification decision was, you know, not too harsh. I think it was correct under the circumstances. Of course, it is harsh for a player to get disqualified from a tournament. I mean, I know. A year and a half ago I had something I can not say similar, but I was disqualified from a Grand Slam with unintentionally hitting the line umpire. I realize it is a mistake and I have to take it.
“Hopefully he can reflect on that and not let something like that happen ever again in his life. I’m sure he’s going to approach it maturely.”
Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic suggests the ATP will likely review the outburst before administering potential further punishment.
“I’m sure the ATP management and officials will look at the video, will probably interview the chair umpire, take some time to decide what they want to decide,” Djokovic said. “I’m never going to encourage ATP disqualifying or fining a player because I’m not in a position to do that. Why would I do that?”
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