'Sometimes the anger comes out of control': Hantuchova on Djokovic

‘Sometimes the anger comes out of control’: Novak Djokovic’s close friend and former tennis star Daniela Hantuchova lifts the lid on world No 1’s short temper and insists ‘the only thing standing between him and an 18th Grand Slam title is himself’

  • Novak Djokovic was booted out of the US Open after hitting an official with a ball
  • Djokovic has since apologised but questions have asked of his temperament   
  • Daniela Hantuchova believes the world No 1’s temper is holding him back 
  • Hantuchova, a close friend, said ‘sometimes the anger comes out of control’ 

Novak Djokovic has been accused by close friend and former women’s tennis star Daniela Hantuchova of letting his anger get the better of him. 

Djokovic was disqualified from the US Open in dramatic fashion on Sunday when he hit a ball to the back of the court which inadvertently struck line judge Laura Clark in the throat. 

Hantuchova, a former top five women’s player, who was working as a pundit for Amazon Prime on the night Djokovic was kicked out of the tournament, said: ‘It feels like sometimes the anger comes out of control.’

World No 1 Novak Djokovic has been accused of letting his anger get the better of him on court

Djokovic was booted out of the US Open for striking a line judge in the throat with a ball

Daniela Hantuchova, a close friend of Djokovic’s, thinks his temperament is holding him back

Hantuchova also believes Djokovic would have gone on to win his 18th Grand Slam title – one behind Rafael Nadal – had the world No 1 not lost his composure. 

She added: ‘I care so much about him and respect everything he is doing for our game, but I just hope there is a lesson to be learned, even if this one came at the worst possible time, where pretty much the only thing standing between him and an 18th grand slam title was himself, with all my respect to the other players.’ 

Boris Becker revealed in his Sportsmail column earlier this week that he feared an outburst such as the one at the US Open was waiting to happen.

Hantuchova believes Djokovic can win more Grand Slam titles if he learns to control himself

Djokovic was heavily criticised for hosting the Adria Tour in Belgrade at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic in June.

Social distancing was non-existent at the event with full crowds allowed. Players, including the world No 1, also took part in late-night partying which led to a number of competitors such as Djokovic himself and Grigor Dimitrov testing positive for Covid-19.

Hantuchova said it was wrong of Djokovic to host an event in a time of global crisis. 

She said: ‘So many times he has the right intentions, it’s just with the timing he’s not getting it right, like the Adria Tour.

‘There’s no problem with running an exhibition tour like that, just not when the whole world stops.’

Hantuchova said Djokovic was also wrong to host an exhibition event at a time of global crisis

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