Djokovic was hit in the head with a bottle. Details of the incident at the Masters in Rome

By | May 11, 2024

The first week of the super-tournament in Rome has already delivered several exciting matches. However, an incident that occurred after the second round match featuring 24-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic, makes us momentarily forget about tennis itself.

Djokovic, who began his competition at the ‘Masters’ on Friday, May 10, predictably won his first game against Frenchman Corentin Moutet with scores of 6:3, 6:1. After the match, while the Serbian tennis player was signing autographs in the passageway between the stands, a bottle fell from the upper tier, belonging to one of the spectators. It hit Djokovic on the head, causing him to fall to his knees and clutch the injured area. The staff quickly assisted him and took him to an under-stand area. According to Sportmediaset, Novak sustained a head injury that caused minor bleeding and he felt slightly nauseous, so he was taken to the medical center. However, his condition does not raise concerns. Attempts to reconstruct the situation suggest that the bottle was not thrown intentionally but fell out of a fan’s backpack as he leaned over to get an autograph.

According to Sky Sports Italy, the bottle was plastic. However, the Associated Press reports that it was an aluminum bottle. It fell from a child’s backpack. The Italian publication Sportface states that the person to whom the water bottle belonged said it slipped out of his bag as he was asking for an autograph. “What a nightmare,” two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova reacted to the incident on her Telegram channel.

“Disgusting behavior…” — these are the words of six-time Grand Slam winner Boris Becker, which he wrote on the social network X (formerly Twitter).

“If it was intentional, that should never happen. No matter whether you love him or hate him, you must respect him,” said Serbian tennis player Miomir Kecmanovic, as quoted by journalist Charlie Ecklesher.

“Novak Djokovic has undergone the appropriate medical procedures and has already left the Foro Italico to return to his hotel. His condition does not raise concerns,” the tournament organizers noted in a statement. But it’s hard not to agree with Becker. Even though the bottle hit Djokovic’s head accidentally, the fan should have done everything possible to avoid this incident — in other words, remove the bottle, zip up the bag — anything really. Even if Djokovic ultimately got away with just a scare — who knows how this might affect his performance? Of course, this incident is not as severe as the one with Monica Seles, who was stabbed by a deranged fan in 1993. But psychology cannot be disregarded either. Recall, for example, football goalkeeper Petr Cech, who after an injury early in his career spent the remainder of it wearing a helmet. Cech won many titles with Chelsea. This headgear may not have hindered the goalkeeper. But it certainly didn’t help.

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