Johannesburg [South Africa]: World No. 2 Novak Djokovic, who unintentionally hit a ball into the crowd during the Qatar Open final against Andy Murray, has said he needs to be more careful in the future.
The incident, which threatened to take the gloss off Djokovic’s victory on Saturday in Doha, occurred in the sixth game of the first set when the Serb, upset at losing a point, fired a ball into the stands which then flew into the crowd, apparently striking a female spectator.
The World No. 2 received a warning for the incident and was given a further warning for smashing his racket in the second set that saw him deducted a point.
“It was not intentional at all,” Sport24 quoted Djokovic as saying. “Of course people get hit, especially in the first rows, from big serves and so forth.”
When asked if it was an acceptable behaviour, the Serb said no, adding, “I definitely didn’t want to hit the ball at anybody.”
“I have to be more careful, I guess, in the future,” he added.
Djokovic defeated Murray in a three-set thriller final, thus bringing the Briton’s 28-match winning streak to an end.
He beat the numero one player 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in a high-quality, action-packed match that lasted for almost three hours.
The 29-year-old admitted that the consequences could have been far worse, in terms of the on-court penalty he received.
It should be noted that it is not the first time Djokovic has been involved in such an incident.
Last year at the French Open, he admitted he was lucky not to be disqualified in his quarter-final against Tomas Berdych in which out of frustration of missing a break point, Djokovic went to smash his racquet into the ground but it slipped out of his grasp, flying into a backwall.
Had it hit a nearby line judge, the Serb would have been automatically disqualified. (ANI)