Djokovic's Courtroom Cursing: Using Serbian Slang to Bypass Umpires' Understanding



by ZAIN UL ABEDIN

Djokovic's Courtroom Cursing: Using Serbian Slang to Bypass Umpires' Understanding
© Jamie Squire/Getty Images Sport

The reigning World No. 1 in men's tennis, Novak Djokovic, recently offered a humorous insight into his on-court behaviour, specifically regarding his use of his native Serbian language. Djokovic, known for his remarkable skills and strategic gameplay, aims for a record-seventh title at the Paris Masters, set to unfold between October 30 and November 5, 2023.

Djokovic enters the tournament as the top seed, and he is poised to face either Miomir Kecmanovic or Tomas Etcheverry in the second round after receiving a first-round bye. With tennis prodigies Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev seeded second and third, respectively, the competition promises to be intense.

In a candid conversation with Eurosport, the 36-year-old Serbian star delved into the dynamics of his relationship with his coach, Goran Ivanisevic, and their ongoing efforts to sustain his motivation on the court. "Goran and the rest of the team are constantly exploring new avenues to keep me motivated, although it's been a bit of a challenge so far," Djokovic shared, highlighting the blend of friendship and professionalism that underpins their interactions.

Djokovic's Linguistic Creativity

However, it was Djokovic’s lighthearted commentary on how he navigates language barriers on the court that caught his attention. He explained that due to the prominence of Croatian and Serbian players over the last few decades, many umpires have become familiar with their native swear words.

This, Djokovic joked, has necessitated a creative approach to linguistic expression during matches. "We have to be inventive, play around with slang, and even create new words. Of course, when you’re frustrated, that level of creativity can be hard to maintain," he admitted with a smile.

Djokovic also reflected on his recent triumph at the 2023 US Open, where he clinched his record 24th Grand Slam title, tying with Margaret Court and surpassing Serena Williams’ tally. Despite the pressures to continue pushing his limits, Djokovic remains grounded.

“I’m satisfied with my 24 Grand Slam titles, though people back home in Serbia keep asking, ‘Why not aim for 25 or 30?’ I tell them it’s easier said than done,” he stated. Djokovic’s resilience and dedication to his sport continue to be a source of inspiration for many. As the Paris Masters unfolds, all eyes will be on him to see if he can secure that record-seventh title.