Novak Djokovic's wife has slammed the hysteria around her husband, centred on a video that went viral this week of his team secretly preparing a drink for the 21-time grand slam winner.
During Djokovic's semi-final victory over Stefanos Tsistipas at the Paris Masters, fan footage showed members of Djokovic's team preparing a substance in a yellow drink bottle, with one moving in order to obscure the filming of them doing so.
The bottle was then handed to a ball-girl who delivered it to Djokovic, in a series of events described by tennis writer Ben Rothenberg as "extremely suspicious" and "dodgy" from other users on social media.
I've always thought there should be more transparency about the substances players take, particularly during matches, but I've also rarely thought anything was likely amiss. But golly, the body language in this video is bizarre. What does the Djokovic team think needs hiding? https://t.co/sW3gglzvi3
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) November 6, 2022
While there is no suggestion that Djokovic or his team have committed any wrongdoing, Rothenberg said the video - which has been viewed more than 15 million times on Twitter - was a questionable look.
Djokovic won the semi-final before falling to 19-year-old Holger Rune in the final, however, he was not quizzed about the drink preparation that has captured the world's attention, with the video going viral after the Paris Masters.
The Serb will no doubt be quizzed about it during the season-ending ATP Finals in Turin, but his wife Jelena has hit out over the furore around the video, insisting Djokovic "will talk when he is ready to talk."
“This whole nonsense about making people speak about something they aren’t ready because others are inpatient is absurd," she added.
“Sit a bit in silence. Mind yourself more. Not everything you see is controversial. It could be private. Is that allowed?”
Djokovic came under fire for a similar incident at Wimbledon, where he refused to divulge the contents of a water bottle handed to him there, only describing it as a "magic potion".
When pressed on the matter further at Wimblededon, Djokovic claimed it was a new range of sports drinks and energy supplements that he was testing out.
“It’s going to come out as one of the supplement lines that I’m doing right now with drink and few other things, sports drinks etc. It will come out there.
“You’ll try it and you’ll let me know how it feels. You might win Wimbledon…”
Aussie stars offers Novak Djokovic support
Aussie tennis star John Millman offered his backing to Djokovic over the latest furore, claiming it was "ridiculous" to suggest that was anything untoward going on, considering the Serb's team was in the players box at the time.
Millman went on to argue that players themselves would regularly prepare similar drinks for themselves, and that the secrecy from Djokovic's team was simply a bid to prevent rivals from gaining a competitive advantage.
“Too much attention on a team member mixing sports drinks ... a proper ridiculous notion that something is up, stadium full, cameras everywhere, drinks mixed in players box ... I mean use a little logic here, maybe just maybe they don’t want to give the edge to anyone,” Millman wrote on Twitter.
“To add to that, inside a locker room you see a players team always making drinks, in unmarked bottles and put in the fridge. Training programs, supplement intake etc is trade secret.”
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