World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has returned to Europe after his exit from the US Open, but the manner of his exit is still a hot topic of conversation. The Serb accidentally hit a lineswoman with a ball after losing a point against Pablo Carreno Busta, which earned him a disqualification from the match.
Swiss Tennis Association President Rene Stammbach recently defended Djokovic's intentions, saying that he was unlucky that the lady was standing at that position. In an interview with Blick, Rene Stammbach, opined that Novak Djokovic did not deserve the disqualification on moral grounds, but that the decision was justified since it was a violation of the rules.
Stammbach also stated that if a young man were standing in the old lady's place, the 17-time Grand Slam winner would have gotten away without any punishment.
Novak Djokovic is mature and he knows the rules: Stammbach
When asked about the latest controversy surrounding the 2020 Australian Open winner Novak Djokovic, Rene Stammbach replied:
"That was just unbelievably bad luck. I think everyone agrees that there was no intention to do so. But, of course, it's a rule violation. The exclusion from the tournament is right, but of course, brutal for him. He didn't deserve it morally."
Rene added that an exception was impossible because the rules were clear to everyone. However, he feels that Novak Djokovic might not have been disqualified had he hit a muscular man.
"No, the rule is quite clear. Someone has sunk to the ground injured. He was just unlucky. If there had been a stocky man standing there, he might have laughed and waved to the audience. But he hit a person who couldn't just put that away," he continued.
Stammbach also addressed the Adria Tour debacle in the interview and mentioned that there was no need for Novak Djokovic and the others to go dancing at a night club. He opined that there was no bad luck streak going for Djokovic and tennis, as things like these could have been avoided.
Given that the Belgrade-based player is always in the spotlight because of his World No. 1 status, Stammbach remarked that Novak Djokovic should avoid unnecessary controversies.
"When you're in the spotlight like that, and you're the number one undisputed, you can't afford such things. As a teenager, I threw rackets like many others. But you are young and not yet mature. You can't say that about Djokovic. He's mature, and he knows the rules. It was just a grid," said the International Tennis Federation Vice President.
Stammbach later admitted that even Roger Federer threw rackets when he was young, but never at a Grand Slam. The Swiss Tennis Association President signed off by saying that Rafael Nadal would also never commit a mistake like Novak Djokovic.Published 14 Sep 2020, 17:18 IST