Novak Djokovic sent shock waves through the entire tennis community on Sunday, when he was defaulted from the US Open after accidentally hitting a lineswoman with a ball in frustration. Djokovic became the first tennis player to have been disqualified in such a manner since Denis Shapovalov was ejected from a Davis Cup match in 2017 for having injured the chair umpire.
Novak Djokovic is unanimously considered a worthy challenger to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, with some even believing he is the greatest of the 'Big 3' trio. But his recent controversies - of which there have been many - have brought into question his standing as an ambassador of the sport.
Against that background, Andy Roddick recently gave his views about Djokovic's disqualification at the 2020 US Open. Roddick didn't like how the Serb handled the situation, and even drew parallels between him and his Big 3 peers.
The American empathized with his former rival Novak Djokovic, but also noted that it was the Serb's indifference to his surroundings that eventually caused the disqualification.
"It was an extremely unfortunate moment, but he put himself in a position where he was inviting bad luck into the equation by doing that. There is no walking out of it," Roddick pointed out.
Roddick is not the first tennis figure who has questioned Djokovic's general on-court attitude. Journalist Ben Rothenberg had also previously claimed that Novak Djokovic has been a long-standing threat for putting court personnel in peril.
When everyone has loved Federer and Nadal for a long time, Novak Djokovic is in a way a villain: Andy Roddick
The 2003 US Open champion added that Novak Djokovic didn't exactly cover himself in glory in the immediate aftermath of the incident either. The 17-time Slam champion was caught on camera making a few irresponsible comments while arguing his case with the match referee.
Even though some believe Novak Djokovic should be cut some slack for those comments as he was probably not thinking clearly in the heat of the moment, Roddick was less forgiving.
"The parts about it that bother me are the 20-minute conversation afterwards, the kind of not seeming overly concerned about the lady's neck or whatever, and then skipping press afterwards - that rubbed me probably the wrong way more than the actual action," the American said.
The controversial incident has elicited widespread discussions in the tennis community, with many questioning Novak Djokovic's sense of responsibility and empathy. Roddick weighed in on the debate as well, calling Djokovic a 'villain'.
"At this stage in his career, because everyone has been so in love with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for a long time, Novak Djokovic has kind of been the villain. He's the guy that kind of wants to shoot Bambi in a lot of tennis fans' eyes," the American said.
Roddick also believes the Serb has done a lot of damage to his image in recent months, right from the Adria Tour controversy to his questionable beliefs on vaccinations and pseudoscience.
"The last six months have been a PR debacle for him," Roddick concluded.Published 10 Sep 2020, 16:58 IST