Story of Djokovic and the Unfortunate Incident

Novak Djokovic in a tight spot. He was in the Wimbledon Finals, locked in a tight battle vs Jannik Sinner. It was 1 set all, 3-3 in the third set.

Novak had been having issues with his overhead all day. He had missed his last 5 attempts. This last miss had given Sinner a break point. Fortunately, on-court coaching was now allowed. Novak's coach, Goran Ivanisevic advised him "You are taking the ball too late. Hit it earlier. To get the most power out of your shot, you need to use your whole body instead of just the strength in your arm."

Novak listened and on the break point he delivered a powerful first that earned a weak reply. Novak ran toward the net and hit a volley that Sinner could only pop back into the air. Novak applied Goran's lesson; he hit the ball earlier than he had been doing all day and used the entire force of his body on the shot. Unfortunately, the shot was mishit, the ball ricocheted off the lower stands, where it was redirected into the upper stands and hit his wife, Jelena, in the forehead. The ambulance rushes her to the hospital where she stayed for a week in critical condition but pulled through. Tragically, the incident left her with PTSD and she no longer attended tennis matches. Djokovic fired Goran the very next day following the match.

The very next year, Novak is in the Wimbledon Finals again, this time facing off against Alexander Zvrerev. Again, he is having trouble with his overheads. His new coach, Pete Sampras, gives him the same advice Goran did the previous year.

"Absolutely not." Novak says. "No way I'm doing that again. Last time I tried that, I got defaulted from the match for hitting someone in the stands."