'I Screwed Up My Knee': Djokovic Complains To Officials On State Of Court After Cerundolo Win

'I Screwed Up My Knee': Djokovic Complains To Officials On State Of Court After Cerundolo Win

by Nurein Ahmed

Last updated

If there is one thing that Novak Djokovic doesn't take kindly, it's annoyance because it evokes a reaction from him, as it did in his fourth-round win at Roland Garros.

Djokovic was down and seemingly out, literally and figuratively. He trailed Francisco Cerundolo by two sets to one. Additionally, he was a break down in the fourth set staring at his earliest defeat at the French Open since 2009.

Time and again, tennis fans have learned not to write off Djokovic, but there was a hint of resignation for a moment as the 37-year-old winced in pain after sustaining a mid-match knee injury brought about by what he believed was the refusal of groundsmen not to sweep the court often.

It is usually standard practice for clay-court tournaments like the French Open that courts are swept and the lines brushed after every completed set. At the end of the match, they are watered.

But Djokovic, who looked concerned midway through the second set, requested a trainer for an apparent knee injury. He was adamant that the unswept court caused the issue.

After taking multiple medical timeouts for a leg rub, the top seed made his feelings known by complaining to the officials, including the tournament supervisor about the state of the court.

"I’m telling you it’s not OK (the court). I screwed up my knee. I’m slipping and sliding all the time."

But Djokovic bravely soldiered on despite apparent physical struggles and fought back a break deficit in the fourth set, winning five of the next six games from 2-4 down to level the match.

It's a well-known fact that the World No. 1 is an athletically gifted tennis player, but his movement was all over the place, as he slipped and slid frequently. In the fifth set, he took a nasty tumble but was lucky enough not to aggravate a serious injury, to which he sarcastically made his point.

"Great job from you guys. You know better than us. It’s not slippery at all. Not dangerous at all. Well done supervisor and everyone. Ground staff, well done."

But despite the turbulent afternoon, Djokovic emerged victorious after four hours and 40 minutes, booking his spot in the quarterfinal, where he will play Casper Ruud in a rematch of last year's final.


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