Novak Djokovic’s furious outburst ‘frightened’ ball boy: ‘Cracked mentally and physically’

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Djokovic’s participation at the Australian Open next week has been derailed by a row over his visa. The tennis star, who is unvaccinated, had his visa revoked last week despite initially travelling to Australia with a controversial vaccine exemption. Yet on Monday a judge dramatically overturned the decision and the player was released from detention.

The Australian government has not ruled out further action however, and there is still a possibility that Djokovic could have his visa revoked for a second time just days before the tournament.

Djokovic is one of the greatest tennis players of all time, having won a joint record 20 Grand Slam men’s singles titles, alongside Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, including nine Australian Opens.

Despite having dominated the men’s game for over a decade, the World Number 1 has always been a controversial figure.

He once even received massive backlash for his on court behaviour after an outburst frightened a young ball boy. 

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At the Miami Open in 2015, a ball boy was handing a towel to the Serbian player during a break in play, only for Djokovic to snatch the item and begin screaming at his coach at the time, Boris Becker.

The umpire then berated the star for his behaviour, which only angered Djokovic more.

Djokovic, who was playing Andy Murray, yelled: “What are you talking about man? I was talking to my coach.”

The referee responded that it “wasn’t a very good look” with the young boy noticeably scared.

Meanwhile the ESPN commentators said that Djokovic appeared to be cracking “mentally and physically” during the match and noted that he had “frightened” the ball boy.

Though he eventually won the game, the Serbian, who had just fathered his first child Stefan at the time, blamed the Miami heat and the gruelling encounter with Murray for his behaviour. 

In an apology after the game Djokovic explained: “When I lost the second set, I yelled to my camp, to my box in frustration.

“Unfortunately the ball boy was in the middle of it and I’m really, really sorry and I regret that he was there.

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“I sincerely hope he forgives me. As a father, I wouldn’t wish that something like this would happen to my son.

“Unfortunately sometimes emotions get the best of you.”

Yesterday, Djokovic took to social media and admitted that he had met journalists, despite having tested positive for Covid, and that there were mistakes on his immigration forms. 

He made the admission on his Instagram in a bid to clarify “ongoing misinformation” about his actions over the past month.

Djokovic said he went ahead with an interview with French publication L’Equipe because he “didn’t want to let the journalist down”.

The player added: “[I ensured] I socially distanced and wore a mask except when my photograph was being taken.”

L’Equipe have also confirmed that Djokovic wore a mask the entire time even after having been asked to take it off for five minutes.

The Serbian also said he had made a false declaration on his travel form prior to entering Australia and insisted his team had since provided additional information to the authorities.

His agent had mistakenly said that Djokovic had not travelled in the 14 days prior to his arrival in Australia, despite the 34-year-old having been in Spain and Serbia before the trip.

He said: “My agent sincerely apologises for the administrative mistake in ticking the incorrect box.

“This was human error and not deliberate.”

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