Tennis News: Djokovic Complains About Bar-B-Que Smoke During Dubai Semi-Final Loss

….. Dubai Tennis Centre

It must be a first in tennis, and maybe a first in sport.

If so, the sight of tennis World No. 1 Novak Djokovic complaining to the match referee that there was too much bar-b-que smoke lingering over of the Dubai Tennis Championship centre court has to be a first.

Firstly, the centre for world tennis in Dubai is located within the famed Irish Village and close to the ‘older’ part of Dubai.

The Irish Village is noted for it’s restaurants and Irish-theme bars, of course.  It’s a very relaxed environment for the tennis fan and as soon as you walk out of the main tennis stadium here you are right in the middle of the Irish Village.

The Village just lends itself to relaxing, chilling-out and yes, enjoying a bar-b-que meal.

Smoke lingers over centre court on semi-final night at the 2023 DDF Tennis

Except on this Friday night of the mens semi-final in the 2023 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship the evening air was heavy.  It had been overcast all day, it was much cooler than it is normally in Dubai in this first week of March, and there no Arabian Sea breeze.

As such, any smoke was going to linger and linger it did over centre court located, and if you had a golf club with you, I’d say no more than a very lofted 56 degree Callaway wedge shot from where the smoke from the bar-b-ques were located.

Not sure exactly what Djokovic was saying but you could hear via the on-course microphones he was raising the issue of the bar-b-que smoke and

Whether or not is was a Djokovic smoke-screen but his complaint to the on-course referee had little effect in bowing out of the tournament in losing 4-6, 4-6 to Russian and World No.7 Daniil Medvedev.

Djokovic was asked by myself post his match whether it was basically frustration that proved his downfall, and with him replying that it will take just one day and any thoughts of losing to Medvedev will be over.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic speaking after bowing out of the 2023 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship (Photo @TourMiss)

“I mean, look, everyone is different. I don’t think there is some general formula that works for everyone”, he said.

“Over the years I’ve been doing different things, trying different things, that help me stay serene and balanced on the court, off the court. It’s not always possible.

“But I think that experience, as well, of playing for so many years and losing many matches… People normally, which is nice, look at your wins and victories, but then you also have to see how many matches you lost. I mean, I lost a lot of matches, a lot of tight matches, a lot of matches that gave me very hard time after.

“But I’m not I would say regretting or feeling sorry about losing a match like it used to be the case. At earlier stages of my career I was more, say, trapped in that feeling of regret, like why I didn’t do this or that.

“Nowadays it just takes one night really to move on. I think that maturity of understanding yourself and really using those different techniques helps.

“But, as I say, everyone is different. Whatever Daniil is doing is working, as well (smiling)”.

Medvedev, who had beaten Djokovic in the final at the 2021 US Open, now faces defending Dubai champ and compatriot Audrey Rublev in the final.

Medvedev and Rublev being the current World No. 6 and 7 in the world


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