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John McEnroe claims Novak Djokovic will ‘be the bad guy the rest of his career’ after US Open mishap

Novak Djokovic, John McEnroe, US Open

As part of a recent interview with ESPN, seven-time Grand Slam champion John McEnroe claimed that Novak Djokovic will be labeled as “the bad guy” for the rest of his career after Sunday’s mishap at the US Open.

Djokovic, the top seed at the event, defaulted from his fourth-round match at the US Open against Pablo Carreno Busta after a tennis ball he hit in anger struck a line judge directly in the neck. The incident occurred during the second set, with Carreno Busta leading 40-15.

Novak Djokovic was disqualified because of his actions:

McEnroe, a player who was known for his fiery nature and vocal outbursts on the court, thinks this incident will have a lasting impact on Djokovic’s public standing:

“The pressure just got to him I think,” McEnroe, himself disqualified from the 1990 Australian Open for misconduct, said, via CNN. “… Now whether he likes it or not, he’s going to be the bad guy the rest of his career. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles it.

“If he embraces that role, I think he could recover,” McEnroe added. “He’s got a lot of things going for him, but this is obviously a stain that he’s not going to be able to erase.”

Novak Djokovic left the event without speaking to media. He later issued an apology to the lineswoman on his Instagram account, noting that he was “extremely sorry to have caused her such stress.”

“This whole situation has left me really sad and empty,” Djokovic wrote, via irishtimes.com. “I checked on the lines person and the tournament told me that thank God she is feeling ok. I’m extremely sorry to have caused her such stress. So unintended. So wrong. I’m not disclosing her name to respect her privacy.”

The French Open is set to start at the end of this month. Let’s see if Novak Djokovic works on repairing his image between now and then.