‘I can understand that Novak Djokovic’s reactions are…’, says top coach

Competing in the Masters Cup in Shanghai for the second year in a row, Novak Djokovic defeated Juan Martín Del Potro and Nikolay Davydenko to secure the berth in the semifinals. In the last free-for-all match, Novak lost to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 1-6, 7-5, 6-1 in one hour and 39 minutes, suffering his third loss to the Frenchman on a covered court that fall. Seeking the first victory of the competition, the Frenchman leveled up in the second set and fired 32 winners and 26 unforced errors to dominate Djokovic with three service breaks. Djokovic stayed in the opening game with a big winner and broke in game two to get an early lead. He does not. 3 saved a break point in Game 3 with an ace and fired a serve without returning to open a 3-0 gap. In the fifth game, the Serbian unleashed another powerful serve to keep the lead, breaking again in the sixth game and closing the first game with a backhand on the winning line at 5-1 after a quick 25 minutes. In one of the crucial moments, Tsonga defended two breakthrough opportunities at 2-2 in set number two and brought the game home with an ace for a huge boost. Experiencing no service issues thus far, Novak played a terrible service game at 5-6 to suffer a break and hand the set over to his opponent. Losing ground completely, Djokovic suffered a break in the second game of the last set and blew a break opportunity in the next to find himself 3-0 down. Jo-Wilfried went ahead 4-1 with a forehand winner and sealed the deal with a balloon winner in Game 7, scoring the final nine points to cross the finish line in style.

Fontang takes a shot at Djokovic

Felix Auger-Aliassime’s coach Frederic Fontang believes Novak Djokovic must improve his on-court behavior given the fact he is a global icon followed by millions. “Novak is the World No. 1 in a global sport; to see him throw his racket at the Olympics is not acceptable, no matter how disappointed he is,” Fontang said in a conversation with Welovetennis.com. “He is a star who is watched by the whole world, he must set an example.” The 51-year-old pointed out that Djokovic’s ambition was clear to see even during the Serb’s formative years. “My first memory about Djokovic goes back a long way: he was a junior and I was taking care of Jérémy Chardy,” Fontang said. “He was already very expressive on the court and very professional off the court. His backhand was also well drilled. You couldn’t predict such a career, but it was clear he was ambitious. To answer the question, I would say that his record is unassailable. However, I can understand that some of his reactions are not appreciated.”