Djokovic on Malaga: This is a shame, I have never experienced anything like this

It was surprising that right before the start of the match, the anti-doping agency wanted to test the players

by Sededin Dedovic
Djokovic on Malaga: This is a shame, I have never experienced anything like this
© Fran Santiago / Getty Images

Serbian tennis legend Novak Djokovic overcame an unusual pre-match disruption to secure his team's place in the Davis Cup semi-finals with a commanding victory over Cameron Norrie. Despite being asked to undergo a doping test during his warm-up routine, a move that would deconcentrate many players, Djokovic remained unfazed and delivered a dominant performance to propel Serbia into the next stage of the tournament.

At a post-match press conference, Djokovic addressed the unexpected doping test, emphasizing his unwavering support for anti-doping measures but expressing his disapproval of the timing and procedure employed. He highlighted the importance of conducting tests after matches and adhering to a protocol that minimizes distractions for athletes.

"I support testing myself or anyone - a hundred times, no problem, but not before the match," Djokovic asserted. "When I'm done, come test it. I didn't see any reason or logic that they asked me to do it during the warm-up." Djokovic further elaborated on the illogical explanations provided by the anti-doping agency representatives, who cited scheduling convenience as a justification for the untimely test.

"When I talked to the representatives of the doping agency, they told me that one of the important reasons they made such a decision was to talk with the organizers, to give more rest to the tennis players who play tomorrow," Djokovic recalled.

"But I told them that the winner does not play tomorrow."

Novak is disappointed by this act and claims that it is a shame

Novak expressed his disappointment with the incident and called for a reevaluation of the current anti-doping protocol within the tennis system.

He suggested the establishment of an internal agency to oversee testing procedures, questioning the rationale behind outsourcing these responsibilities to an external entity. "It's a shame what they did," Djokovic stated. "It is also interesting that it is a private company.

There should be a discussion about whether we should have our own agency within the tennis system, and not hire someone from the outside." Despite the pre-match distraction, Djokovic emerged victorious, showcasing his unwavering focus and determination.

He acknowledged the disruptive tactics employed by rival fans during his post-match interview but remained composed and unfazed. "Disrespecting the fans, but I have to be ready for that in the Davis Cup," Djokovic acknowledged.

"Sometimes the border was crossed, in the heat of the fight I also reacted, showed that I do not allow such behavior. They can do what they want, but I answered."