Rafael Nadal sympathises with Novak Djokovic after his dramatic exit from the US Open but also stressed the importance of keeping one’s composure while on court.
Djokovic was disqualified from the US Open after he accidentally hit a line judge with a ball in frustration. The ball hit her throat and after discussion with tournament officials, the Serb was defaulted from the tournament.
Nadal felt his Serbian rival was unlucky.
“The consequences have been always the same. Nothing new on that. Novak was unlucky. The rules says clearly that’s a default,” Nadal said in a news conference at the Rome Masters.
“Sorry for him. He had an opportunity there. But in some way you should not be doing this. It’s very unfortunate, very unlucky situation. But it’s important to have the right self-control on the court, because if not, you can be unlucky,” he added.
Nadal had opted out of US Open due to concerns of the growing cases of Covid-19 in the country. His absence meant Djokovic had a great chance to add another Grand Slam to his tally of 17 titles and get to within one Grand Slam of Nadal’s tally.
However, Djokovic’s exit meant Austrian Dominic Thiem won his first Grand Slam title by beating Alexander Zverev in a dramatic five-setter in the final.
Nadal who beat Thiem in the last two French Open finals said the Austrian deserved to win the title.
“Happy for Dominic. He is somebody that deserves to win a big title, super hard worker. Very focused on his goals. Good person, good human person. He deserves it,” said Nadal.
The Spaniard will return to action for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic broke out and will face compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta (incidentally Djokovic’s opponent during the default and a semi-finalist in New York) in the first round in Rome.