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Supporting Djokovic – Novak Djokovic accused of ‘playing mind games’ at Wimbledon

Tim Henman has accused Novak Djokovic of playing mind games with his Wimbledon semi-final opponent Cameron Norrie as the Brit was made to wait in the hall by himself before he was joined by the Serb to walk out to Centre Court. Norrie was seen pacing in the hallway on his own as Sue Barker claimed that he was made to wait longer than expected for Djokovic.

Kyrgios discusses Djokovic vs Norrie as he awaits winner at Wimbledon
Barker noted that Djokovic was letting Norrie wait four extra minutes at least before joining him in the hallway, and asked Henman if the 20-time Grand Slam champion was letting Norrie think about the magnitude of the occasion for just a bit longer.

“Yeah, there can be a few little mind games going on,” Henman replied during the BBC’s broadcast. “Djokovic is certainly playing at his pace, waiting to come outside the locker room and make that walk along the corridor through the members’ area down the stairs and onto Centre Court.”

Barker suggested that it was the late schedule change that could have adjusted Djokovic’s preparation, as their semi-final was due to take place at 1.30pm but was pushed back after Rafael Nadal withdrew from the competition and his semi-final with Nick Kyrgios after suffering an abdominal injury during his quarter-final win over Taylor Fritz.

Nadal confirmed his exit from the tournament on Thursday evening in a press conference. “I have to pull out from the tournament,” Nadal told reporters. “As everybody saw yesterday I have been suffering with the pain in the abdominal, I know something was not okay there as yesterday I said and yeah, that’s confirmed I have a tear in the muscle, in the abdominal.

“The communication is too late because even like that I was thinking the whole day about the decision to make but I think it doesn’t make sense to go, even if I tried a lot in my career to keep going. Very tough circumstances in that one I think it’s obvious if I keep going the injury is gonna get worse and worse.”

Tim Henman accused Novak Djokovic of playing mind games with Cameron Norrie.
Kyrgios discusses Djokovic vs Norrie as he awaits winner at Wimbledon
Nadal’s withdrawal from the competition gave Kyrgios a walk-over to the Wimbledon final, the first player to do so in the Open era and he will face the winner of Djokovic and Norrie Centre Court on Sunday.

Another suggestion behind Djokovic’s lateness was the Serbian purposefully letting the Wimbledon crowd wait as he does have a history with the SW19 crowd, having not been cheered on in the latter stages of the tournament.

“This is going to offend Novak Djokovic personally,” Andrew Castle said during last year’s commentary of the Wimbledon final. “There are a lot of people in here supporting Djokovic, you just can’t hear them.”

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