If you happen to follow me on Twitter, you’ll see that I had a hunch sometime around the start of the third set that Novak Djokovic would retire in his quarterfinal against Andy Roddick. And then, a few commercial breaks later, the Williams sisters’ Oreo ad ends and there’s Novak Djokovic shuffling off the court.
Novak, the Australian Open defending champion, now needs only the U.S. Open to complete the career Retirement Slam – a feat the top two guys will never get close to achieving. I can’t help but wag my finger and offer some tongue-in-cheek advice: Whenever you start feeling funny in the tummy, Nole, take a few bites of a Power Bar and ask yourself, “What would Roger and Rafa do?”
And even before Novak got glassy eyed on the change overs, he was up to his usual self-defeating antics. Was it really necessary to sic security on that one guy who was over-cheering for Andy, Nole? Your parents weren’t even there to whine about it.
But something’s changed – it’s just not fun to scold him anymore. He hasn’t reached the Jennifer-Capriati-shoplifting-at-the-mall level of dysfunction yet, but there’s definitely something wrong with Novak Djokovic. The trash talking parents, the combative attitude with fans, the tap outs in big matches – it’s unhealthy in more ways than one. I foresee much more drama before he ever hoists another Major trophy over his head.
Of course he’s only 21 years old, meaning he has a good eight years or so to work out his issues. This alone could motivate the affection-hungry Djokovic – everyone loves a comeback story.