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“They can see that the media are publicly lynching me” : Djokovic furious after the Eurosport x toilet break incident

After being wrongfully portrayed in a video that Eurosport posted on social media, Novak Dokovic explains why he had to speak out.

Novak Djokovic speaks to the media at the 2023 Australian Open Novak Djokovic speaks to the media at the 2023 Australian Open Image Credit: AI/Reuters/Panoramic

Following his win over Enzo Couacaud in the second round of the Australian Open, Novak Djokovic addressed the issue of incorrect reporting by Eurosport about his toilet break in his first-round match against Roberto Carballes Baena

Across their social media, Eurosport posted video footage of Novak taking the toilet break with a headline “Novak Djokovic defied the umpire to take an early bathroom break in his first-round match at the Australian Open (eyes emoji)”.

On Thursday, Djokovic addressed the issue on social media explaining exactly what occurred. 

“I am an easy target to be the villain. That is how they portray me, for me that is now a normal occurrence – but I will not tolerate injustice.”

Djokovic on his recent incident with Eurosport

Visibly upset about it, he provided an in-depth explanation to Serbian reporters at the post-match conference. 

“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 engaged a new company in London that is running their social media. I saw that it was someone new and they confirmed it….

“I can’t remember the details of exactly what happened six months ago, but at the time I said I will not be giving any interviews to Eurosport. Subsequently they apologised to me, and everything was OK; but here we are again where Eurosport is sensationalising something which is completely taken out of context,” said Djokovic to which he added:

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

“Nobody apologised to me publicly. Are they going to publicly apologise to me? I don’t think so. Eurosport is broadcasting the Australian Open, they are one of the biggest sports channels in the world. They could issue a public apology.”

— Novak Djokovic

The 21-time Grand Slam champion paused to take a deep breath and continued:

“In our organisation – ATP or WTA – there has to be a system of timely protection of players, someone who will react, do something about these things. I am an easy target to be the villain. That is how they portray me, for me that is now a normal occurrence – but I will not tolerate injustice.

“Some things I can tolerate, some I cannot – they do not deserve for something like this to just be allowed, to get away with it. Usually I don’t react, even though I could have reacted a thousand times over different things in the past. Today they went completely overboard. Nobody apologised to me publicly. Are they going to publicly apologise to me? I don’t think so. Eurosport is broadcasting the Australian Open, they are one of the biggest sports channels in the world. They could issue a public apology.”

Djokovic went on to explain that he would prefer a public apology rather than something done in private.

“Both times they apologised to me privately, but people don’t know about 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 still think that I defied the umpire, went to the toilet and that I didn’t follow the rules. So, again I am portrayed as the one who behaves how 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 are publicly lynching me? This has been happening continuously, there have been many situations like this one – but in the end nothing, it’s all the same. At the end of the day, if we are members of this Tour, surely there has to be some responsibility towards the players, some sort of protection. But no, ‘you do what you want and roast him as much as you want in media, while we remain silent.’”

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