The tennis community has been abuzz ever since Novak Djokovic got disqualified from the US Open for accidentally hitting a lineswoman with the ball. A lot of opinions have been thrown about throughout this week, but none as visceral and personal as what Djokovic’s coach Goran Ivanisevic has on the matter.
The Croat recently opened his heart out in an interview with Sport Club about his ward’s disqualification. Ivanisevic defended Djokovic with a passion, even calling the rules ‘stupid’. The Croat then went on to speak about the Serb’s chances in the upcoming claycourt swing.
The only mistake is that he didn’t look: Goran Ivanisevic on Novak Djokovic’s act
Novak Djokovic is widely understood to have not aimed the ball specifically at the lineswoman, but it is a common consensus that the Serb was emotionally charged during that period of the match. Regardless of his intent, Djokovic was given the marching orders by the match referee after consulting with the USTA officials.
That said, Ivanisevic believes Djokovic was largely faultless throughout the incident. For him, the World No. 1’s only error was that he let the ball fly without looking at his surroundings.
The Croat also added that he was against the idea of disqualification, especially when there was a complete lack of intent - as he believes was in the case of Novak Djokovic.
"The only mistake is that he didn't look, that he threw the ball looking forward, not behind him,” Ivanisevic said. “I didn't see when the woman fell live, but I did after the video, I think 3,877 times. I don't know what to say smartly. I'm not talking about Novak now, I am generally against disqualification, it is meaningless to me - come on if you come and knock the referee off the chair, yes, but this was completely unintentional.”
Goran Ivanisevic was also quite blunt in his assessment of the rules in place. He opined that Novak Djokovic should not have been penalized by more than a game for something that was unintentional.
In a slightly more bizarre claim, the Croat added that the officials were wrong to default Djokovic amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The rules are as they are, you are warned or disqualified, which in my opinion is stupid,” Ivanisevic added. “I'm not objective, but I don't think he should have been disqualified, he should have won the penalty game, Carreno should have won the set and started from the other. But in these times, with the corona and everything, they (should not have) disqualified him. I know that many will not agree with me, that many have said that it is deserved. “
I think Novak Djokovic can win Roland Garros: Goran Ivanisevic
With the tennis season going on in full swing now, it is important for Novak Djokovic to bounce back from this calamity quickly. His coach believes that he can do so by triumphing at Roland Garros - a feat that would lay to rest the US Open debacle.
"You see, Novak is a born winner and he will come out of this even stronger and better," Ivanisevic said. "If he wins Roland Garros, which I think he can, this will be forgotten as if it never happened.”
Ivanisevic however refused to speculate on the hypothetical question of whether Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer would have also been disqualified for a similar act. Many in the tennis fraternity believe they wouldn't have, but Ivanisevic didn't want to engage in comparisons.
“I can't talk about what would happen to them ... It happened to Novak and now it's over, now we need to go forward and just look ahead,” Ivanisevic continued. “I say, I think he can win Roland Garros, the conditions suit him, he just needs to he comes out of this, and he's capable of it - he can and he will."Published 12 Sep 2020, 17:58 IST