Novak Djokovic sparks Wimbledon furore with post-match confession

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·Sports Editor
·5-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Novak Djokovic, pictured here admitting his bathroom break helped him turn things around against Jannik Sinner.
Novak Djokovic admitted his bathroom break helped him turn things around against Jannik Sinner. Image: Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic has inadvertently landed himself in some hot water at Wimbledon after admitting to using a bathroom break as a tactical ploy against Jannik Sinner.

Djokovic was on the ropes after losing the first two sets to his Italian opponent in Tuesday's quarter-final, but turned the match on its head and went on to win 5-7 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-2.

'OH MY GOD': Tennis world in disbelief over 'insane' Djokovic drama

'PURE CLASS': Novak Djokovic's staggering act for injured rival

Speaking in his on-court interview after the match, the World No.3 revealed how a bathroom break turned his fortunes around.

"He was the better player for the first two sets but I had a toilet break and a pep talk in the mirror," Djokovic said.

"It's true - sometimes these things are necessary. The toilet break was the turning point.

"I go through the same doubtful moments as anyone else. The inner fight is the biggest fight you go through."

While bathroom breaks are completely legal, they have been the source of much controversy in recent years.

Players have been accused of using them tactically in a bid to break their opponent's momentum, particularly going into a fifth set.

Stefanos Tsitsipas sparked uproar during his win over Andy Murray at the US Open last year after the Brit accused him of "cheating" by seemingly using bathroom breaks to his strategic advantage.

Novak Djokovic, pictured here in action against Jannik Sinner in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon.
Novak Djokovic in action against Jannik Sinner in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. (Photo by Frey/TPN/Getty Images)

Murray admitted after the dramatic five-set loss that he had lost respect for the Greek star, who took an eight-minute toilet break ahead of the deciding fifth set at Flushing Meadows.

The three-time grand slam champion could be heard shouting “he’s cheating” during the lengthy delay, before complaining to match supervisor Gerry Armstrong.

Tsitsipas also took a toilet break at the end of the second set and a medical timeout for treatment on his foot after the third.

Following an eight-minute delay before the fifth set, Murray could be heard complaining: “It’s never taken me that long to go to the bathroom ever.”

And while Djokovic took his before the third set, there were some fans who accused the 20-time grand slam champion of gamesmanship.

The ATP has since changed the rules around bathroom breaks, limiting them to one per match lasting no longer than three minutes, and only permitted at the end of a set.

Should a player spend too long in the bathroom, they will be hit with a time violation.

At grand slam level players get one extra bathroom break per match.

An analysis by the Wall Street Journal last year looked at every bathroom break Djokovic has taken during grand slam matches since 2013, finding that all but one of them came in big matches that went at least four sets.

The report states: "In 10 of the 12 cases, he took the next set immediately. That gives Djokovic, who has won 78.6% of his career sets at grand slams, an 83.3% success rate following a trip to the restroom."

Novak Djokovic to face Cameron Norrie in semi-final

Chasing a fourth Wimbledon title in a row, Djokovic will play inspired home hope Cameron Norrie on Friday for a place in an eighth Wimbledon final.

Norrie sent fans into a state of delirium with an emotion-charged 3-6 7-5 2-6 6-3 7-5 victory over Belgian David Goffin in Tuesday's second quarter-final.

The South African-born, New Zealand-raised, US-educated Norrie is only the fourth British man to make the final four at the All England Club in the Open era.

"I'm speechless," the 26-year-old said. "So happy to get through."

Cameron Norrie, pictured here celebrating after his win over David Goffin at Wimbledon.
Cameron Norrie celebrates after his win over David Goffin at Wimbledon. (Photo by Frey/TPN/Getty Images)

Djokovic could have easily been headed for the exit gates after Sinner snatched the first set from 4-1 down, then grabbed the second to have the Serb on the ropes.

But the six-time champion regrouped to claim his 10th consecutive five-set victory at the championships, a run stretching back to 2006.

"This court has inspired me, every time I step on it the love affair keeps going and hopefully I can maintain that run," he said.

"I always believed I could turn the match around. I've done it a few times in grand slams. I'm just glad I'm through.

"Thankfully grand slams are played in best-of-five, so I had opportunity to come back."

with AAP

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting