Novak Djokovic lost his cool in a heated duel with Holger Rune on Sunday, Nov. 12, at the 2023 ATP Finals.
After a marathon three-hour thriller, the Serb scored a decisive break in the deciding set to win 7-6 (4), 6-7 (1) and 6-3. However, Djokovic’s victory was overshadowed by a mistake in the third set, when he smashed two racquets on the ground until they were broken.
While Djokovic apologized and admitted that he discourages such behavior, his outburst sparked a debate about the role of hitting in tennis. Some argue that it is a harmless way for players to vent their frustrations, while others argue that it sets a bad example for young players and promotes violence.
Regardless of one’s opinion on hitting racquets, Djokovic’s outbursts are a clear indication of the pressure he is under to maintain his dominance as the world’s top player. He is aiming to win a record seventh ATP Finals title at this year’s event, and he knows he can’t afford to lose to Cinna and Sissipas in the remainder of the group stage matches.