Novak Djokovic had to run off court for a speedy bathroom break after just five games of his opening match at the Australian Open.
Commentators on Australia’s host broadcaster Nine were quick to question whether the world No 5 had defied security by running off to the toilet. “He needs to go to the toilet? After five games? Well I think he’s actually pulled rank there as well. I think that official was trying to pull him back,” Mark Woodforde remarked.
They continued to discuss the incident among themselves, appearing confused at Djokovic’s decision to take a quick toilet break in the allotted changeover time. “Okay, so I think he’s gone off without permission it seems,” another added.
“It seemed very strange he wasn’t allowed to go off, it seemed. And it seems like he did pull rank, Because the linesman said ‘no no, you can’t go off at this stage. After the first set, yes’.”
The umpire’s walkie-talkie could then be heard on the broadcast, as Tourte was alerted by security when left the court. But he reappeared just moments later, as she called time at the end of the changeover.
Djokovic had been forced to come from 0-40 down in his previous service game before taking his quick toilet break, and was able to break Carballes Baena’s serve for the first time in the match when he returned before going on to take the opening set 6-3 in 43 minutes.