Novak Djokovic has apologised for smashing a racket in his Australian Open win over Alexander Zverev on Tuesday. The Serb battled his way past the German in four sets. However, he cut a frustrated figure throughout the showdown and, at one point, let his temper get the better of him.

Djokovic lost the first set 7-6 (8-6) to Zverev.

However, he then bounced back to win the next three and book his place in the semi-finals of the Australian Open for a ninth time.

At one point in the match, trailing 3-1 at the time in the third set, Djokovic let his anger get the better of him and smashed a racket to pieces.

He received a warning for his actions but, afterwards, bounced back to emerge victorious.

And Djokovic, speaking after the match in his press conference, explained smashing the racket by saying: “It was a relief for me, but I wouldn’t recommend this kind of relief channeling.

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“Of course I’m not proud of this kind of moments, when I break the record, of course I’m not proud of that.

“But you go through a lot of different emotions and inner battles and everyone is different.

“My own demons that I have to fight with, and I’m sure everybody else has this too.

“Everyone has their own way of dealing with that. To me it happens, today it actually helped.

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“Even though I had alost hour of a warm-up hit before the match, it still felt it was going to take some time to warm-up and feel I could rotate in the right way.

“I was lucky to get that break in the tenth game when he was serving for the fist tem.

“It was a close tiebreak. After that I felt I started moving better, playing better. I served extremely well. Down to the very last shot, it was anybody’s game, anybody’s match.

“A lot of nerves out there. A lot of pressure. Emotionally I feel a little bit drained. It was a great battle. Congratulations to Sascha. We pushed each other to the limit.”

Djokovic fans reacted to the racket smashing incident on Twitter, with one saying: “Djokovic broke his racket, cringe. #AusOpen”

Another posted: “Not sure smashing your racket on the floor like that would help a side injury?!”

A third said: “Djokovic looks so disinterested sometimes from his looks and then breaks the racket all of a sudden.”

And a fourth tweeted: “Djokovic smashing his racket into the court because he’s losing is quality TV.”



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