Novak Djokovic - Indian Wells 2024

Novak Djokovic reveals on-court behaviour that left him ’embarrassed’

Novak Djokovic has revealed the way that he has learnt to accept his on-court outbursts, while still feeling ‘ashamed’ and ’embarrassed’.

Djokovic has often been criticised for his behaviour over the years, including after the 2023 Wimbledon final against Carlos Alcaraz when he smashed his racket against the net post.

And while the 24-time major winner has admitted that he is not proud of these actions, Djokovic revealed that he has learnt to accept his ‘flaws’ when speaking to Nick Kyrgios on the ‘Good Trouble’ podcast.

“For the first part of my career I was not okay with myself, breaking rackets and screaming and making a fool of myself on the court,” explained Djokovic.

He continued, “It doesn’t mean that I’m okay with that today, when I do it I’m ashamed of myself, I’m embarrassed and I really hate myself for doing that but at the same time, what I think the difference in the last seven, eight years is I accept my flaws and I accept that I do mistakes and I do errors, and I try to be a better version of myself the next day. And I’m not embarrassed to say I’m wrong, I’m flawed.

“Somethings you need to be woken up and shaken up to get the best out of yourself, but most of the time I really want to enjoy life, to have a good relationship with people, I really care about this sport. I really care about making people happy with my tennis and that’s what it’s all about.”

Inside the baseline…

Like Novak Djokovic said, it is not acceptable behaviour to break your rackets, especially as a role model to so many young spectators. However, that is all very surface level and in the heat of the moment no-one knows how they would react in that situation when so much is on the line. This must be especially difficult in scenarios when you feel like the crowd is completely against you, which may have been the case for Djokovic in the Wimbledon final last year.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.