Mysterious bottles’ at the…: Novak Djokovic’s former coach has defended the Serbian over Aus Open incidents

Novak Djokovic’s former coach Craig Shaugnessy has defended the Serbian star after he appeared to be handed a number of ‘mysterious bottles’ at the Australian Open. Djokovic made history in Melbourne, winning his 22nd Grand Slam title and 10th Australian Open crown after defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.

As has often been the case in recent times though, the world No. 1 was not far away from controversy. This came after a number of questions were asked about the involvement of his coaching team during his quarter-final win over Andrey Rublev.

During the clash – which Djokovic won in straight sets – the Serbian was handed a bottle by his team which appeared to contain a note. On-court coaching at events had been banned for some time, however a change in legislation meant coaching contact court-side was permitted at last month’s Grand Slam event.

It seems Djokoivc and his team found a grey area though, with the ruling on receiving written messages up in the air. This was not the only time Djokovic and his team raised eyebrows though, through the use of a drinks bottle.
Questions were also asked after he was handed a bottle from his team during his second round match against Enzo Couacaud. Djokovic was then seen keenly reading the label on the bottle, again opening a debate as to exactly what the Serbian was locking his eyes on.

Former coach Shaugnessy though has rubbished the suspicions, claiming Djokovic will have been reading the contents of what was included in the bottle, with specific drinks often prepared for players to fit with their fitness plan. Per Sportal.RS, he said: “Players already carry a lot on the field with them, bag, rackets etc…

“And many times they don’t really know what is going to happen. They don’t know what electrolytes they will need. This is completely normal and completely within the rules.
“In matches that are played practically day after day it is quite normal for the coaching staff, especially for the physiotherapist to invent something during the match and give it to Novak.

“If you’re not familiar with the inner workings of tennis, that might seem a little suspicious, but it’s not at all. There is literally zero suspicion for a physical therapist to make a drink and hand it over. It happens all the time.”

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