World No.1 Novak Djokovic has booked his place in the semifinals of the 2021 French Open. However, it wasn’t a straightforward win against a spirited Matteo Berrettini as most people expected, especially after the Serb lead by two sets to nothing in the quarterfinals.
In a sudden turn of events, Djokovic lost control of the match in the third set, as the Italian pushed the match into a fourth set. Both players had to deal with a brief halt in play through the fourth set as fans present at the Philippe Chatrier has to abide by the 11p.m. COVID-19 curfew imposed by the French government.
However, some fans refrained from vacating the arena, which further lead to a stoppage in play. Therefore, both players had to leave the court, and only returned when the entire facility was empty.
Djokovic kicks the signboard at Chatrier
An animated Djokovic was also frustrated at not being able to convert his match point opportunity. Expressing his disgust, he was even captured kicking the advertising board on the court. A littler later, he Djokovic took advantage of a third match point in the fourth set, sparking wild-eyed celebrations and a huge roar, directed towards his box.
“This match had it all: falls, crowd and break. It was a lot of intensity. I just felt under tension the entire time and missed some chances to end it in three,” Djokovic told the reporters after his win.
“It was just super, super stressful to constantly be under pressure […] the reaction in the end was just me liberating that tension that was building up for the entire match.”
However, renowned tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg who didn’t see the funny side of the whole incident, immediately posted his displeasure on Djokovic’s over-the-top celebrations and on-court demeanor.
“This tweet was sent before that match point celebration, when he broke the courtside sign. That 2020 US Open default wasn’t bad luck; it was the logical culmination of a career of reckless behavior on court from a great champion who loses his shit out there on a regular basis,” the journalist wrote on twitter.
Djokovic will now take on 13-time Roland Garros winner Rafael Nadal in the semis on Friday.