Serbian duo Novak Djokovic and Nina Stojanovic made a winning start to their mixed doubles campaign at the 2021 Olympics on Wednesday. Djokovic and Stojanovic beat Brazilian pair Marcelo Melo and Luisa Stefani 6-3, 6-4 to move into the quarterfinals.
Melo, on his part, was not only disappointed with the result but also with Novak Djokovic's behavior during the match. The Serb was quite loud and expressive with his celebrations, often aiming them towards the Brazilian's box. To make matters worse, Djokovic also hit a smash straight at Melo midway through the second set.
Needless to say, the Brazilian was not the least bit impressed with the Serb's antics. Speaking to the media after the defeat, the two-time Major champion said he was dismayed by Djokovic's behavior, especially since the Serb had spoken so warmly about Brazilian culture a few days ago.
"(Novak Djokovic's gestures) left a negative impression on me, to be quite honest," Marcelo Melo said. "Two days ago he made a video talking about Brazil, about the energy of Brazil and today he plays that way. There was a smash he landed on my back that wasn't necessary. Anyway, it's a tennis match, everyone tries to play the way they want, I would never do that."
The video Melo is referring to is linked below, where Djokovic can be heard comparing the atmosphere in the Olympic Village to that found in Brazil.
"Looks like Brazilian energy (atmosphere at the Games), Brazilian people have this kind of charismatic, very nice energy," Djokovic said. "So, I am very happy to be part of the Olympic Games. I love being surrounded by athletes. It's a lot of fun to interact, you know speak about sports speak about life."
Melo also claimed Djokovic came close to striking his partner, Luisa Stefani, with the ball during the match.
"There are certain things I can't understand for what and why," Melo said. "We didn't do anything. Once, he almost hit Luisa."
Melo admitted that Djokovic was free to play the way he deemed fit but asserted there must be a certain "limit" to one's behaviour on court. The 37-year-old also hinted that Djokovic's actions crossed a line.
"Of course, he entered the court, he has to do whatever it takes to win, but he has to have certain limits," said Melo. "A lot of people will think about it, whatever you want and that's it, but I don't want to create controversy."
"I'm not going to start creating controversy, but those who saw the game understand very well what I mean," he added. "Other things too. Everyone understands what happened between the lines as well."
Marcelo Melo posts a video of him getting hit by Novak Djokovic's smash on Instagram
Marcelo Melo took to social media site Instagram after his defeat to post a video of him getting hit by a smash from Novak Djokovic.
The Brazilian claimed he had no choice but to post the video after reading some comments online. He also revealed that he usually posts videos of himself getting hit on court.
"After I saw some comments, I want to make sure I post this point like always I do, who follows me knows that I always get hit during the matches and I post after even with helmets!," wrote Melo.