Controversial bottle post
Allegations of cheating against Novak Djokovic in Australia
Tennis fans are puzzling over a mysterious note that was on a Novak Djokovic bottle. Is this how the Serb circumvented the ban on coaching?
Published: 5 minutes ago
Updated: 2 minutes ago
Has Novak Djokovic circumvented ban on coaching during change of sides?
A video is circulating on social networks, causing discussions in the tennis world. It shows how Novak Djokovic gets a bottle out of his box in his second round game, on which a supervisor previously stuck a note. The former world number 1 reads the note, crumples it up and tosses it in his pocket.
Allegations of cheating are immediately heard. Many are firmly convinced that there were hints and tips on the note and complain that “coaching” is not allowed during the change of sides. That’s true, but this only applies to verbal coaching.
Written notices are not explicitly mentioned anywhere in the ATP regulations. In the test phase that has been running since July 2022 (until the end of 2023), non-verbal coaching is permitted, but this only relates to gestures. So did the Serbs find a loophole? Or was it just information about the drink?
Inhaled from bottle at Wimbledon
One can assume that everything went right. Because the wrong one from the box was handed over to the person responsible for the tournament, Gerry Armstrong, who then personally passed it on to the 21-time Grand Slam winner. If there were unauthorized notes on the bottle, he would hardly have handed the drink to Djokovic.
However, it’s not the first time a bottle from the 35-year-old has caused a stir. At the Masters in Paris-Bercy in November 2022, his physio was filmed mixing a drink in the stands and then pouring it down onto the pitch.
During the tournament in Wimbledon, you could also see Djokovic not drinking from a bottle, but inhaling something from it. An insider later told the Telegraph that it was an isotonic powder that many players use. (che)