Novak Djokovic has inadvertently landed himself in some hot water at Wimbledon after admitting to using a bathroom break as a tactical ploy against Jannik Sinner.
Djokovic was on the ropes after losing the first two sets to his Italian opponent in Tuesday’s quarter-final, but turned the match on its head and went on to win 5-7 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-2.
Speaking in his on-court interview after the match, the World No.3 revealed how a bathroom break turned his fortunes around.
“He was the better player for the first two sets but I had a toilet break and a pep talk in the mirror,” Djokovic said.
“It’s true – sometimes these things are necessary. The toilet break was the turning point.
“I go through the same doubtful moments as anyone else. The inner fight is the biggest fight you go through.”
While bathroom breaks are completely legal, they have been the source of much controversy in recent years.
Players have been accused of using them tactically in a bid to break their opponent’s momentum, particularly going into a fifth set.
Stefanos Tsitsipas sparked uproar during his win over Andy Murray at the US Open last year after the Brit accused him of “cheating” by seemingly using bathroom breaks to his strategic advantage.
Novak Djokovic, pictured here in action against Jannik Sinner in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon.
Murray admitted after the dramatic five-set loss that he had lost respect for the Greek star, who took an eight-minute toilet break ahead of the deciding fifth set at Flushing Meadows.
The three-time grand slam champion could be heard shouting “he’s cheating” during the lengthy delay, before complaining to match supervisor Gerry Armstrong.
Tsitsipas also took a toilet break at the end of the second set and a medical timeout for treatment on his foot after the third.
Following an eight-minute delay before the fifth set, Murray could be heard complaining: “It’s never taken me that long to go to the bathroom ever.”
And while Djokovic took his before the third set, there were some fans who accused the 20-time grand slam champion of gamesmanship.