Exploring the reactions of Novak Djokovic's fans to his unwanted Rome Open incident

Monday, 13 May 2024 at 19:25
As soon as Novak Djokovic was hit in the head by a bottle at the Rome Open, the theories started to fly on social media and even when the footage was confirmed to show that it was an accident, it wasn't enough for some with a darker side to social media shown.
Djokovic was walking down signing autographs when a man bent over to try and get one only for his bag to be open and the metal bottle flew out and hit Djokovic square on the head. The World No.1 cowered on the floor and was carried away by security. He seemed to be very much jovial in the day that followed as he wore a bike helmet as a nod to the incident and seeing the funny side.
But after being thrashed by Alejandro Tabilo 6-2, 6-3, Djokovic unaware stocked the flame of those saying it wasn't an accident and saying for the culprit to receive justice by saying that he wasn't sure if the bottle incident did affect him. An off-colour display and one that could be down to a myriad of factors but he certainly wasn't right in the latest damning loss for the World No.1.
"I don't know to be honest," he said. "I have to check that. Training was different. I was going for kind of easy training yesterday. I didn't feel anything, but I also didn't feel the same. Today under high stress, it was quite bad. Not in terms of pain, but in terms of this balance. Just no coordination."
"Completely different player from what it was two nights ago. Could be I don't know. I have to do medical checkups and see what's going on." Many at the time of the incident were asking for the man to be arrested for what happened and one user on social media with a Novak Djokovic profile picture took it further.

Fans ask for fan to be found in dark-side to incident

Conspiracy theories flew as to what hand the guy had out to which the bottle came out and one user said: "In fact we don't know if this was an accident until we find this man, where is he coming from, where does he work, his age, when did he arrive in Rome. This is all the questions police should ask." To which another pointed out: "Ruining someone's life because your favourite lost a tennis match." Many comments under this tweet also confirmed that there was a dark undercurrent between fans as of the past week with a sort of witch hunt taking place to find the culprit.
But while Djokovic fans have moved at every juncture to throw theories out, the Serbian himself has had more of a measured approach. He didn't blame the fan and said he was fine and only flagged up issues that potentially could've happened after the fact.
djokovic bottle
Novak Djokovic was hit by a bottle seemingly by accident or not in the opinion of the fans of the World No.1.
"Some of the comments I read since ND's loss are really really scary," one fan wrote in response to the Djokovic comment asking to find the man. While others cited laws in which the fan who was involved could cite stalking, cyberbullying and exploiting. Throughout the COVID saga also, Djokovic was painted as an unfair villain by his supporters despite the rules in place and tournaments were on the back end of abuse about Djokovic not being let in. Others in this case asked for a full investigation to be carried out trying to make it in reality more than it was.
While this incident has shown the warmth of tennis fans, it has also shown a darkside of fandom that in defeat, the first thought is a previous incident and trying to lock someone up for what was perceived as an accident.
Novak Djokovic will now move on to Roland Garros albeit after tests surround his wellbeing after the incident and subsequent off colour loss to see if anything was in play during his latest loss. Will fans ask for the Tabilo loss to be expunged or replayed if it is found that he played with some sort of an issue? Time will tell. But not the most ideal preparation for Djokovic and also not the greatest reaction on social media.

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