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Andy Roddick nearly came to blows with Novak Djokovic after ’08 U.S. Open loss

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Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic celebrates after beating Andy Roddick at the 2008 U.S. Open. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Andy Roddick revealed on Fox Sports Live that he almost fought Novak Djokovic in the locker room after their match in the 2008 U.S. Open quarterfinals.

The match was filled with tension after Roddick accused Djokovic of faking injuries, and Djokovic exacerbated things by poking back at Roddick during an on-court interview after his four-set victory. The New York crowd even booed Djokovic off the court.

On Fox Sports Live, Roddick began recounting the confrontation with “this tennis player.” After the other panelists, including former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb, encouraged him to name the player, Roddick said it rhymes with “Schmovak Schmokovic.”

“I was talking trash, and he came out and beat the pants off me [in the match], as he would, but then kind of chirped afterward,” Roddick said. “So he comes straight [into the locker room], I went right up to him, had him up against the locker. But then I realized his trainer was a little bit bigger than Donovan and I kind of checked myself.”

Roddick’s story begins at the 1:35 mark:

Before the match, Roddick was asked about Djokovic’s myriad injuries and penchant for calling for medical timeouts. Roddick responded by suggesting that Djokovic was suffering from everything from a common coughing cold to anthrax and SARS. “If it’s there, it’s there,” Roddick said. “It’s just a lot. He’s either quick to call the trainer or he’s the most courageous guy of all time.”

A clip from Roddick’s pre-match press conference:

Djokovic ended up beating Roddick 6-2, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5), and then let loose a bitter post-match interview in which he sarcastically referred to Roddick’s attack.

“Well, obviously Andy was saying I had 16 injuries,” Djokovic said on court. “Obviously I don’t, right?”

As the partisan crowd began to boo, Djokovic kept going.

“I know [the fans] are already against me because they think I am faking everything,” Djokovic said. “That’s not nice anyhow to say in front of this crowd that I have 16 injuries and that I’m faking it.”

Awkward.

Roddick claimed he was just joking, and Djokovic admitted he overreacted to Roddick’s comments. The two spoke privately after the match, but refused to reveal any details about their conversation.

“Anything that’s going to be said between Novak and I is going to stay between Novak and I,” Roddick said after the match.

As it turns out, that private conversation was much more heated than we thought. But before everyone gets all riled up, Roddick tweeted Thursday that his relationship with Djokovic is perfectly fine.

  • Published On Oct 03, 2013
  • 14 comments
    MarkSweetipo
    MarkSweetipo

    Anything more pathetic than Tennis Billy Bad A s s es?

    Vinny Cordoba
    Vinny Cordoba

    Players who have had negative things to say about Djokovic: Roddick, Nadal, Federer, Gulbis, Jankowicz. Those are just the ones who have spoken publicly. He's not exactly a universally beloved player.

    cdns211
    cdns211

    Roddick is an absolute Di$k. First he trash talks Novak. Actually it is worse than trash talk, because he basically says he is faking injuries. Since he really did not know what was going on with Novak, he should have kept his mouth shut. And then after he lost, he can't take a bit of dish back from Djoko. And the whole thing about trying to beat up some one in a locker room is soooo school-bullyish. But befits a thug like Roddick. So he was gonna beat up some one who weighs may be 20 pounds less than Andy. Yup, that would show him, since he obviously could not match Novak on the court accomplishments.

    Tofurkey
    Tofurkey

    What Roddick said before the match was way worse than what Djoker said after it. Djoker fires back and Roddick he gets all hissy, what a d*ck. I'm glad he's gone, I hope he has sweet dreams about Roger holding up that Wimbledon trophy

    Mark20
    Mark20

    I wish Novak had decked him. Man what a whiny little loser.

    joeblog
    joeblog

    second-most annoying Arod in sports

    MichaelC
    MichaelC

    Roddick needs to bring "jock insights" into the conversation for Fox Sports One, which uses that stupid "panel" concept. So he's doing what he did best in the last couple years on tour - talk.

    vijju
    vijju

    Roddick seems to be the person with a load of double standards here. First he mocked Novak before that USO match in 2008, granted Novak was being accused by a lot of people at the time of gamesmanship. But then it was within Novak's rights, surely, to get a word back in after he had proved himself by winning the match?

    To borrow from Roddick's own term from the post match '08 interview, 'if you can dish it out, be prepared to take it, too'. Why on earth try to take the moral high ground, say stuff like “Anything that’s going to be said between Novak and I is going to stay between Novak and I,” and then go on air years afterward, giving further details about an apparently ugly confrontation? And then, tweet that his relationship with Djokovic is perfectly fine!! Why, if it is fine, talk about a past spat? Man, talk about unnecessary media interaction, Roddick sure seems like he wants to stay in the news!

    Just to clarify, I am not a Novak partisan, I like the guy, sure, but I'm more of a Nadal fan. What's clear from this article, is Roddick's hypocrisy and double standards, and that needs to be called out.

    Ace2020
    Ace2020

    So Roddick starts the whole thing by trash talking Djokovic, then tries to fight Novak when he defends himself? No wonder I could never stand this guy.

    cdns211
    cdns211

    ..fan, despite him the only torch bearer for the country for a decade.

    cdns211
    cdns211

    Actually, that 09 wimby final is the only time I felt bad for roddick and was not too happy with Roger's flaunting and lack of sportsmanship.

    But with everything else that happened, and his outburst at the USO where he behaved much much worse than Serena, and incidents like this locker room, make me realize why I never was a Roddick

    Vinny Cordoba
    Vinny Cordoba

    @Mark20 . I don't think Novak could deck a store mannequin, let alone Roddick. Talk to the players on tour. Find out who is more respected, Djoker or Roddick. Lots of players have had negative things to say about Djokovic, and still do. Wonder why that is?

    RenoNoone
    RenoNoone

    @Mark20 I agree.  Roddick in a non-stop annoyance.   From day one.

    unifiedairway
    unifiedairway

    @vijju the downside (for Novak) is that not everyone in the audience knew of Roddick's comments in the press room. THe average tennis fan doesn't care about pre or post match conference.  I believe this incident, in addition to other prior antics, is a reason why the USOpen crowd never warmed up to Novak like they have to Federer and Nadal.  It's just an opinion but this episode was widely panned by people who had no clue Roddick dished it out first.  Maybe they should take a book from the WTA for the future and just fight in the press room and smile on court.