John McEnroe: Novak Djokovic will be ‘the bad guy the rest of his career’ after US Open disqualification
Novak Djokovic’s aggressive actions during Sunday’s match in the 2020 US Open got him disqualified from the tournament. Djokovic was frustrated during his match against Pablo Carreño Busta and hit a line judge with a ball he hit in anger. The rulebook details guidelines for intentionally hitting a ball dangerously or recklessly and therefore the No. 1 seed was disqualified from the tournament.
Retired tennis legend John McEnroe, who was known for him temper on the court, had a lot to say about the incident. He believes this is something that will follow Djokovic around for the rest of his career.
Here’s what McEnroe said, via ESPN:
“The pressure just got to him, I think. I think a lot’s been going on off the court, it’s obviously affected him. And now, whether he likes it or not, he’s going to be the bad guy the rest of his career. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles it.”
He added that Djokovic could bounce back from this, but if he does, it would likely require him accepting the role of being the bad guy.
“I didn’t say he couldn’t recover. If he embraces that role, I think he could recover, absolutely,” McEnroe said.
The 61-year-old pointed out that though this is a black eye on his career, Djokovic can still go down as one of the best to ever play. It’s just a matter of how he mentally handles the rest of his career, McEnroe said.
“He’s chasing history, he’s trying to pass Rafa and Roger, we all know that, he’s younger. He’s got a lot of things going for him, obviously, but this is obviously a stain that he’s not going to be able to erase, whether he likes it or not,” McEnroe said. “It’s emotionally how he’s going to handle it. It’s not about the physical part and him getting older.”
After the incident, Djokovic apologized saying, “This whole situation has left me really sad and empty.”
It’s just the latest event that has Djokovic looking like “the bad guy.” He recently publicly announced his intentions to try and form a tennis player’s union, and other stars, such as Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal all came out against the idea. Earlier in the year, Djokovic tested positive for COVID-19 after organizing and playing in the Adria Tour series in Croatia and Serbia. No social distancing measures were enforced during those matches,