“First the bathroom, then the physio!” Adriano Panatta accuses Novak Djokovic of deliberately disrupting Jannik Sinner’s momentum at the 2023 ATP Finals, compares it to Federer and Nadal

Jannik Sinner beat Novak Djokovic 7-5, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/2) in ATP Finals 2023.


“First the bathroom, then the physio!” Adriano Panatta accuses Novak Djokovic of deliberately disrupting Jannik Sinner’s momentum at the 2023 ATP Finals, compares it to Federer and Nadal

Novak Djokovic and Jannik Sinner (Image via Imago)

Adriano Panatta has criticized world no. 1 Novak Djokovic for repeatedly trying to break the momentum of his opponents whenever he loses a set or is in a difficult situation. The Serb has been heavily badmouthed over the years for this easily observable pattern in him, where he takes long breaks and tries to disrupt the momentum of his opponent in a losing position and Adriano Panatta has now spoken up against that. 

The ex-Italian tennis star bought up Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s examples while slamming Djokovic for his behavior against Sinner. He added that right from bathroom breaks to the physio, Djokovic tries everything possible to disrupt his opponent’s rhythm.

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Have you ever seen Federer or Nadal behave like Djokovic did tonight [vs Sinner]? He always tries to break up the pace of the match. First the bathroom, then the physio, he tries everything. I don't like that attitude at all, thank goodness Sinner doesn't care, he sits there quietly.
Adriano Panatta

Novak Djokovic recently lost to Jannik Sinner in his second match of the 2023 ATP Finals. This was his first defeat since his loss to Carlos Alcaraz in the final of Wimbledon earlier this year. Jannik Sinner won the first set against the Serb and it came as a big surprise as the Italian had never defeated the 24-time Grand Slam winner in his career.

Although Djokovic made a return in the match by winning the second set, he called in the physio in between sets to condition his muscles. Many have opined that this was yet another way by which the Serb tried to disrupt his opponent’s momentum. 

Thankfully, it did not affect Jannik Sinner, and he ended up winning the match 7-5, 6-7(7), 7-6(2) to register his first victory against the Serb. With this, he has almost confirmed his place in the semifinals of the 2023 ATP Finals and a win over Holger Rune will help him cement his spot and maintain a perfect record in the group stage of the tournament. 

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Novak Djokovic’s controversial bathroom break in the Wimbledon final 

In the final of the 2023 Wimbledon Open, Novak Djokovic faced Carlos Alcaraz. The Serb started off well in the match and won the first set. However, the Spaniard then made a comeback into the game and went on to win the next two sets. It was then that Novak Djokovic took an extended bathroom break, wherein he took 7-8 minutes to return to the court and it led to a lot of controversy. 

Novak Djokovic (L), Carlos Alcaraz (R)
Novak Djokovic (L), Carlos Alcaraz (R) (Source: The New York Times)

Long bathroom breaks in tennis always fall under the gray area of questionable ethics and sportsmanship. Novak Djokovic’s long bathroom break against Carlos Alcaraz was seen as a deliberate attempt to disrupt his flow and it was successful to some extent as Novak Djokovic won the very next set pretty easily. Thankfully for Alcaraz, it mattered little as he won the last set and defeated the Serb to win his maiden Wimbledon title. 

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