Novak Djokovic ‘pulled rank’ on chair umpire says Mark Woodforde


Novak Djokovic “pulled rank” on the chair umpire according to doubles great Mark Woodforde, when he ignored the official to take a toilet break midway through the first set of his opening round win against Spain’s Roberto Carbales Baena on Tuesday night.

After grabbing his towel at the change of ends, Djokovic turned and said “I’m going to the toilet” in the chair umpire’s direction.

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But the official didn’t hear, forcing Djokovic to repeatedly say “hello” three times to get her attention.

“I’m going to the toilet,” he repeated.

Viewers at home couldn’t hear what she said in response but appeared to be heard by Channel 9’s commentary team. Djokovic paused and then turned and ran out of the arena.

“Well I think he’s actually just pulled rank there,” Aussie tennis legend Mark Woodforde added. “I think the official was trying to pull him back.”

“He’s just run off the court,” John Fitzgerald added.

“He’s gone off without permission, it seems. “I mean, 3-2 in the first set?”

The chair umpire spoke to the official who followed the player off court and seemed to be miffed by Djokovic’s actions.

The chair umpire called time and Djokovic returned to the court in time to avoid a penalty.

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