Djokovic goes nuclear for ‘public lynching’

Djokovic goes nuclear for ‘public lynching’

Nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic doubled down on his criticism of a major European broadcaster in a searing rant, demanding a public apology and complaining of being the target of a “public lynching”.

In the superstar’s first-round match, Djokovic rushed off the court in the first set to take an early break in the bathroom after a brief discussion with the referee.

Eurosport tweeted: ‘Novak Djokovic challenged the ref to an early bathroom break in his first match at the Australian Open (emoji eyes)’ while commentator Mark Petchey suggested he was using his status and “draw rank”.

“He needs to go to the bathroom?” After five games? Nine commentator and tennis great John Fitzgerald said in Nine’s commentary.

Petchey replied: “Well, I think he just gained ground there as well. I think the official was trying to push him back.

After the match, Djokovic took to social media to slam Eurosport for claiming he “challenged the referee”, writing: “Eurosport please verify your information (sic) before posting anything critical and false.” He explained in more detail what had happened in a second message.

Following his second-round win on Thursday night, Djokovic was asked by Serbian reporters about the incident – and launched a lengthy rant at the broadcaster.

Djokovic claimed Eurosport was “raising awareness of something that was completely taken out of context”, saying he was an “easy target to be the bad guy”.

He added “the media is publicly lynching me” but said “I will not tolerate injustice”.

Djokovic demanded a public apology from the broadcaster and criticized the ATP Tour for its failure to defend him against the media which “roast him as much as they want”.

The Serbian star said (as translated via TennisMajors): “Once again I have been placed in a situation where I have to react publicly. For the second time in six months, I have a problem with Eurosport. Eurosport have hired a new company in London which manages their social networks I saw it was someone new and they confirmed it….

“I don’t remember exactly what happened six months ago, but at the time I said I wouldn’t give any interviews to Eurosport. Afterwards they apologized to me and everything went well. but here we are again where Eurosport is sensationalizing something that is completely taken out of context,” Djokovic said to which he added:

“After my reaction today and my posts on social media, Eurosport has deleted theirs, like what they did with the last one. OK, I gave an interview to Barbara Schett, who went Apologized to me Boris Becker also contacted me, Mats Wilander they all work for Eurosport I have nothing against them I like Eurosport, I like sport in general – I watched skiing on Eurosport all my life, but these situations…”

The 21-time Grand Slam winner continued: “In our organization – ATP or WTA – there has to be a timely player protection system, someone who will react, do something about these things. I’m an easy target to be the bad guy. This is how they describe me, for me it is now a normal occurrence – but I will not tolerate injustice.

“Some things I can tolerate, some things I can’t – they don’t deserve something like this to just be allowed, to get away with. Usually I don’t react, even though I could have reacted thousands of times to different things in the past. Today they went completely overboard.

“No one has publicly apologized to me. Will they publicly apologize to me? I don’t think so. Eurosport is broadcasting the Australian Open, it’s one of the biggest sports channels in the world They could issue a public apology.

Djokovic revealed he received a private apology from Eurosport but was unhappy.

“Both times they apologized to me privately, but people don’t know that. I know it, and you know it – because I just told you, but the majority of people who follow tennis will never hear about it. They will always think that I challenged the referee, went to the bathroom and didn’t follow the rules.

“So again, I’m portrayed as the one who behaves as he wants, which is completely untrue. I explained in my social media post exactly what happened.

“Again, I am publicly asking a question: why didn’t the ATP or the Grand Slam come out and explain the situation, when they can see that the media is publicly lynching me? It happened all the time, there were many situations like this – but in the end nothing, it’s the same

“At the end of the day, if we are members of this Tour, surely there must be a responsibility towards the players, a kind of protection. But no, “you do what you want and you grill it as much as you want in the media, while we remain silent”.

Originally published as “Easy target to be the bad guy”: Djoker denounces “public lynching” in a crazy explosion

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