Did Novak Djokovic cheat by receiving instructions from his staff when changing sides?

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Although communication between players and their coaches during a match is very limited by the regulations, it seems that the Serb was instructed by a… canteen.

The Spirit and the Rule… Although only a few words or short sentences are allowed during a match to transmit instructions, as long as the opponent is not disturbed by it, Novak Djokovic’s staff seems to have found that the parade circumvents the rules, as clearly as possible and of course not to damage the concentration of his protégé’s rival.

The scene dates back to round two in Melbourne and has been circulating in a video on social media. During the game against Frenchman Enzo Couacaud on Thursday, January 19, we see a Serbian staff member sticking a piece of paper on a water bottle before passing it to an official present at the edge of the pitch.

Sitting on his couch, Djokovic doesn’t drink a drop of the drink brought to him, but takes off the paper in question before taking a few seconds to read what it says. Still in contention at the Australian Open, where he faces Alex De Minaur today for a place in the quarter-finals, the former world number 1, once again demonstrating the importance of high-level attention to detail, perhaps setting a precedent. Because if the practice is not prohibited, it is ethically very limited…

The rule “Coaching” is clear. Verbally, phrases cortas cuando el jugador está del lado de la cancha de su box y de señas cuando está del other lado. No tengo claro sobre “Mensajes en una botella”. ¿Alguien me lo puede aclarar? Quien recibe la botella es el supervisor Armstrong. pic.twitter.com/NYmdzviRfE

— LuisAlfredoAlvarezud83cuddfbud83cuddeaud83cuddfaud83cuddf8 (@LuisAlvarez_1) January 21, 2023

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