By Boris Becker For The Daily Mail
Published: 22:30 BST, 7 September 2020 | Updated: 23:22 BST, 7 September 2020
Getting defaulted from a Grand Slam is, for a tennis player, like a footballer being shown a red card in a big match at the World Cup.
If you asked David Beckham what the worst thing to happen to him in his career was, I am sure he would look back to the incident of 1998 against Argentina. If you ask Novak Djokovic in 10 years’ time for the worst thing he experienced on a tennis court it will surely be disqualification at the 2020 US Open.
That is why he will have been feeling both embarrassed and frustrated by the events of the fourth round as they start to sink in. The fines will be expensive but other aspects to it will hurt him more.
Novak Djokovic of Serbia talking to his coach at the time Boris Becker in Melbourne in 2016
Even as someone who has a high regard for Novak, I think the ruling was correct. I do not think he was trying to hurt anyone, he just lost control for a moment and he had to go.
It came at the end of a concentration lapse which followed him missing three set points at 5-4, but I suspect the reasons go deeper than that. To me, he is paying the price for taking too many things on before and during a Grand Slam, especially with his leadership of the new players’ organisation.
Winning a tennis major is incredibly difficult, because it involves focusing on a goal for a whole fortnight and maintaining your form against the best in the world. That has not changed since I was playing.
So I feared Novak may have taken on too much when I saw everything that was happening around the new organisation. For example, when Adrian Mannarino was being prevented last Friday by local health officials from taking to the court (due to his contacts with positively-tested Benoit Paire), it was