Serbian tennis champion Novak Djokovic braved his way into the final of the Australian Open with a leg injury but was tempered by new accusations that he may have broken the rules of the tournament.
Footage has emerged of the Serbian star receiving a mysterious drink following his come-from-behind win over French player Enzo Cuacard in the second round of the Australian Open.
It happened during a match where he surrendered the second set and needed a medical timeout for a troublesome hamstring before heading for victory.
His team is seen labeling water bottles before handing them to tournament officials to give to Djokovic on the court.
Upon receiving the bottle, the former World No. 1 carefully read what was written on the label.
The footage raised concerns that Djokovic and his team may have broken rules governing when and where players can coach during the Open.
Stars may only communicate verbally with their team if they are on the same side of the court. If they are on opposite sides, cues should be used – as was the case when footage of Djokovic was filmed.
It’s the third time in six months that the 21-time Grand Slam winner has sparked controversy over his drink choices at a tennis tournament.
The incident came after Djokovic suffered a shock defeat to Danish teenager Holger Loon at the Paris Masters in November, after which a video of Djokovic’s physiotherapist mixing Djokovic with a drink headlined. monopolized the
Physio mixed a mystery drink in the stands before handing it to Beauregard and handing it over to the Serbian champion. Another member of Djokovic’s team tried to use his back to block his view of what was happening.
A member of Djokovic’s team hands a freshly labeled bottle to a tournament official during play in the second round of the Australian Open.
Djokovic took the time to carefully read the label on the bottle, with some suggesting it contained the team’s coaching notes.
Prior to that, the 21-time Grand Slam champion made headlines at the Wimbledon Championships when he appeared to inhale a substance from a water bottle.
When asked what was in the drink bottle, Djokovic only replied, “magic potion.”
Many fans were quick to attack the star player for repeatedly using the mystery drink.
“There’s always some conspiracy when it comes to Djokovic,” one person replied to the video.
“He does this all the time and after that it’s like he’s running like a Roadrunner cartoon,” added another.
Other tennis fans thought the liquid itself was fine, but the note attached to the bottle could be.
“Possibly a coaching note?” one fan suggested.
Others said it could be a sponsorship-related issue.
One fan commented, “It’s a product made by a company that isn’t his sponsor and hides the label.
Others were quick to defend Djokovic from the inconvenience, saying no one could be more audacious than consuming a banned substance in front of them.
“I paid too much attention to team members mixing sports drinks,” wrote one fan.
“The ridiculous idea that something is going on, stadiums are packed, cameras are everywhere, drinks are mixed in the players’ boxes… using a bit of logic here, maybe they’re not Maybe they don’t want to get the upper hand.
Fans holding banners cheering for Serbia’s Novak Djokovic during his third round match against Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov
Djokovic has kept secrets about his “magic potion” bottle in the past, and was questioned three times in six months about his use of the mysterious liquid.
On top of that, you’ll see the team of players constantly making drinks in the locker room, putting them in unmarked bottles and keeping them in the refrigerator.
Another tennis fan pointed out that Djokovic was already cleared for having a “mysterious” drink at Wimbledon.
“I would love to have the Wimbledon statement under my eyes so I can relax. It is isotonic and very popular among athletes,” they posted.
“It comes in powder form and can be mixed with water or dried and then exposed to water.
Australian Alex De Minaur, the last remaining hometown player in singles, has a big task at Djokovic.
“It’s hard to believe that people are stupid to think athletes ingest banned substances where thousands of spectators and cameras can see you. Even when it is regularly tested.
Another fan posted: