Novak Djokovic hit by bottle in Rome, massive scare before champion clarifies on X

Novak Djokovic at the Italian Open
Novak Djokovic at the Italian Open (PC: X)

In a bizarre incident, Novak Djokovic, winner of 24 Grand Slam titles, was hit by a water bottle while he was signing autographs after winning his match against France’s Corentin Moutet at the Italian Open on Friday night.

Images and a video of the Serbian hitting the deck after being hit by a bottle which came from the stands have gone viral on social media. By all accounts, there was panic when the incident happened. At first, it was not clear whether someone had deliberately played a prank or it was an accident.  The security apparatus had been pressed into service, which also included private agencies. No tournament organiser takes chances since the infamous incident where Monica Seles was stabbed in Hamburg, Germany, over 31 years ago.

Djokovic has no enemies, as such, but after recent incidents of hooliganism in Europe and extra security in Paris, as host of the Summer Olympics this July, the incident in Rome has been passed off as an accident. That was after due diligence and verification. It is also important to note that there have been security issues in Germany, what with football’s Euros set to begin in mid-June.

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Novak Djokovic in AO Open 2024
Novak Djokovic in AO Open 2024 (Source: X)

“This is not being treated as a deliberate act but an accident,” the tournament organisers said later in a statement. Apparently, an excited boy was hunting for an autograph, and the water bottle from his backpack hit Djokovic on the head. The video showed a fan leaning over in the stands from where the bottle landed on the player’s head.

“Djokovic underwent appropriate medication,” added the statement. Social media has reacted to the incident with concern, and the champion himself took to X and posted a statement. 

“Thank you for the message of concern,” wrote Djokovic on his social media handle. “This was an accident and I am fine, resting at the hotel with an ice pack. See you all on Sunday.”

These days, when every incident evokes responses from fans, one tweet read as follows: “Wtf… ban these guys ASAP if it was intentional. Stay strong Nole.”

According to eye witnesses, the crowd control was perhaps not the best. “I am hoping this was just an accident and someone dropped their bottle because it got too crowded and people were pushing too much in that area,” said a fan.

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