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September 10, 2011

Novak Djokovic's Poor Sportsmanship Mars US Open Semifinal Victory Saturday

When a player comes back from two sets down in a Grand Slam semifinal it should be cause for celebration. But Novak Djokovic's remarkable victory is hard to celebrate because the world's number one player resorted to poor sportsmanship to defeat Roger Federer. 

With Federer serving for the match in the fifth set, Djokovic stopped play to go to the back wall and dance up and down, waving to encourage the crowd to cheer. Then, with Federer still standing ready to serve, Djokovic strolled slowly back to the far, back corner to towel off. 

You could figuratively see the steam coming out of Fed's ears as Djokovic froze him while Fed was serving for the match. You'd never see players such as Fed, John Isner, or Andy Murray interrupt their opponent that way. It's beneath them. 

Djokovic did his usual stalling route throughout the match dribbling the ball over 14 times per serve -- and then slowing down more on pressure points. In the game where Fed served for the match, Djokovic also mocked the crowd and Fed by repeatedly striking his frame to ridicule the crowd cheering a great shot by Fed (Yes, Fed did frame a shot earlier in the rally.)

One reason Djokovic was able to get away with his poor sportsmanship is that the top umpires -- most of the Golden Chairs -- are boycotting the US Open over poor pay (as little as $185 a day). 

You can be sure that if Mohamed Lahyani or  Lars Graff was in the chair, they would have at least quieted the crowd down and shortened Djokovic's theatrics. But the chair did nothing then, and virtually nothing all match -- other than incorrectly over-ruling a fault by Djokovic -- letting Djokovic get away with his stalling and theatrics. 

Djokovic's performance is yet more proof that pro tennis badly needs a 20-second clock on the court. 

I'd find it hard to be proud of winning if I had to resort to dancing and strutting like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever while he was serving for the match.

Tennis prodigy Ryan Harrison said that Fed would beat Djokovic and Rafael Nadal more often if he showed more fire. Maybe Harrison is on to something (although I'd hate to see Fed throwing tantrums and racquets like Harrison). If I had been Fed, I've have lobbed an underhanded serve in,  walked to the net, and told the ump since you didn't call a time out, either the ball was in play and an ace, or my opponent was delaying the match and deserves a point penalty. Which is it? 

But Fed's too much of a gentleman and an old-school good sport. Djokovic is not.


Reader Comments

Poor sportsmanship? Gee, I wonder who you're rooting for. I'm glad Roger lost! And this is coming from a FORMER fan, he pulled the wool over my eyes for too long. Federer is the poor sport and always has been as seen in his post match interview. Pull the wool off your eyes and see him for what he is, a talented player and a very poor sport.K

Great article. For Djokovic to be pumping up the crowd, mocking them, it's no wonder they were all supporting a true sportsman, a great tennis player, and a lovely person. I used to like Nole, but his arrogance has gone much too far. He's still a kid, and the crowds will never appreciate him like they did Fed.

Djokovic is the one who displays a very bad sportmanship...very unbecoming for a No 1 player as not a good role model..thumping his chest each time he wins a point that would be enough to incence his opponents...at 5-5 in the fifth set, you could clearly see that Federer got incensed with Djokovic's antics...he wasn't unable to focus...until the last point..he walked to the net and shake hand subtely with Djokovic unlike in the previous matches...both of them hugged each other and said nice things to each other. Clearly Federer didn't utter a single words to him...

Based on the post match comments i read, i didnt think either was being a "poor sport" -- i enjoy honest comments. Nole's shot was a fluke, he realized it and egged himself (and whats wrong?) -- this un-nerved Federer (doesn't make it Nole's fault). Federer in his post match just had a long winded way of saying Nole's shot was a fluke ....i like the fact that Federer is honest and not a pretentious diplomat. To be fair to Federer, everything else he has said about Nole was highly complimentary. I just feel people ought to stop taking "offence" so easily and being too pristine when it comes to character attacks -- relax folks :) Serena was an awful sport to me against Stosur...

"Djokovic did his usual stalling route throughout the match dribbling the ball over 14 times per serve"

- Pointless statement. Nadal takes longer on average to serve.

- Djokovic's celebration was completely acceptable because it's not stated ANYWHERE in the ATP/WTA official rule book that a player cannot celebrate the winning of a point.

- Federer could have easily complained. He knows all about complaining ( Us Open vs DelPo 2009)
It's obvious that you don't like Novak. There is no point in degrading him by making such imbecilic articles like this.
I'm sure this wouldn't have been brought up at all if Roger had've won the match. Weak piece of journalism.. weak.
Get serious mate.

Someone on some other forum linked this page and everything i read here it looks like its been wrote by Mirka. With all respect for old persons, but you mi friend do not know what you talking about. "Stalling route"-haha. Have you ever been on a mach with 20k on their legs, cheering? Well, you sure act like you havent.
He hit The Shot and now you can cry like rest of the Federer diehard fans.
185$ for such a mach - always, 500$ more to see Djokovic winning against all odds - always, to see Mirka packing her stuff in bag on 5:3 40-15 - priceless.

Wow talking about missing the point. The crowd was clearly against Djokovic, to the point that they were trying to disturb his game as much as possible. They cheered after that point because they thought it was OUT and Federer has won. So they supported Djokovic unintentionally and Djokovic was making fun of the crowd because of that. Federer CHOKED big time and lost, get over it.

This guy is such a fed fanboy that he doesn't see the reality in the front of his eyes. Ridiculous and stupid article. Want poor sportsmanship? watch Federer post match interview.
Or read this

This whole story is silly. I'm a huge Roger fan but Roger himself said he never saw Novak do anything. While I thought it was rude, Roger did not. And Roger's press conference was that of a guy who just blew it and knew it. He was upset with himself, no more, no less. Not a poor sport. Sometimes, it just hurts to lose a match. The guy's human. Why take sides?

Ooohhhh how cute. He is defending his loverboy Roger. Only thing both of you can do is to hold hand and cry together. Only thing Roger can do this days it seams.

AlexMano, well, you are too funy, rather silly... for the God-Sake either say something about the article or shut up! this is not an interactive forum!!! Somepoeple just can't not be but silly!!!

Daniel, David couldn't you see that Nole takes ages to serve? (I don't mean I garee or disacree with every thing in this article) but Nadal & Nole take ages, It is almost a scientific fact... & it is, taking it as they way they serve not badly intended, at least violates the rule...

Discofish: Do you on earth know the word "Manaer" couldn't see a better word to answer you but SHUT YOUR f*** MoUTH UP!
You are too idiot to be answered!!!

Regardless of what I think of what you write: You know that Roger doesn't prefer to distract himself with arguments with the umpire! usually

Dear Mr Opinion, there is one saying in our country: Not received up to win, not to humiliate in defeat!
So, stop humiliate yours beloving Fed, he did it on court by himself!

I couldn't have said it better. Thank you for speaking out!

I concur about Djokovic's behaviour, and it's not the first time we have seen it, is it? He is unbridled oncourt and also in his pursuit of promoting himself as a charming etc. fellow. But his real persona emerges, even if he does it less than before.
Nobody can pretend that he is fair, that he does not resort to gamesmanship, that he does not try to unsettle his opponent. He really is unsportsmalike, and come what may, it won't change that inner person. Charming, with a softer side, as per Cliff Drysdale? He can plaster it on with a trowel, offcourt. He has shown his true colours many times. And also how he wins, although we don't know all of it, do we.

[Sarcasm=on]I think it is very unsportsmanlike to applaud oponnents well played point. Yes i do.[sarcasm=off]. C'mon guys, be serious and objective. Federers interview after the match is everything but sportsmanlike. Federer didn't los that match because of that one fluke point. He lost two sets before that fluke. Noone is that lucky to win two sets against Federer just by luck.

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