Did Rafael Nadal hit Novak Djokovic in the face on purpose? No, he didn’t.

Yes, according to some Serbian social media portals and forum posts. No, according to the rest of us.

During the third set of the semifinal match between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at the Rogers Cup, Rafa pegged Novak in the face. Rafa immediately approached the net and apologized, but the apology was not accepted.

Folks in forums and on social media like to speculate, but they should know that these things happen. It’s always entertaining to read these conspiracy theories, as long as no one gets hurt. However, it’s sad to see fans of a player jumping on every incident to discredit his opponent, thereby dragging their own idol down.

But what do the rest of you think? Watch the video and post your comments below.

67 comments

  1. G’ee. what is all the fuss about?!!! Djokovic looked like he (his mind) wasn’t even in the game? Rafa you’re a good sport … and you’re talking to someone who’s lived through the McEnroe era!

  2. Rafa didn’t mean to hit Novak at all!!!! He was just hitting the ball back and accidently, it hit Novak on the face.

  3. These things happen…i don t thing rafa did this on purpose…nole should have accepted rafa’s apology…even if he did it on purpose,something that i don t believe, it s something that can happen during an important point…

  4. ¿Y el show de la lentilla de Nole , de milagro que no lo hizo?
    Nadal perfecto comportamiento, un Caballero.
    Nole está demasiado consentido para darse cuenta de lo que es correcto y ético y de lo que no..

  5. it was just a sequence of the match. I guess Rafa never thought his opponent was so close to the net at that point.

  6. Ahhhh, that is Djokovics attitude to be mad especially he cant accept for sure that he is loosing from Nadal!!!

  7. I can’t I believed that Nole would not accept Rafa’s apologies. Very unsportman like conduct. Rafa did not mean to hit him and he was very apologetic.The good people always prevail!

  8. I think he didn’t hit him on purpose, but even if he did, it’s part of the game. It could be a calculated attempt to get that ponit. That is what competition is all about – players look to distabilize their opponents, they defend themselve with any strategy possible. So if hitting Djokovic on the face will give Nadal that very valuable point, Nadal did well to have done so. I must add too that Djokovic did not display an acceptable sense of sportmanship to have turned down Nadal’s appology.

  9. I’ve seen a lot of tennis and I’ve seen players get hit by the ball. I don’t think it is intentional especially in this case. Nole was so close to the net and when Rafa hit the ball back it just so happened to hit Nole in the face. Get over it Nole. Accept his apology.

  10. At that Crucial time of the Match the Ball has to go back to the other side of the court somehow. There was nothing intensional about Rafa’s shot on Novak. Its part of the game and that is why the Rule did not say Replay when such happens. Novak was not the first Victim in such scenario so lets seat back relax and watch the Final.. Vamos Rafa!!!!!

  11. That was not at all intentional. Rafa had to hit the ball back and Novak was actually taken by surprise . I guess he was not expecting Rafa to get the ball and be able to return it that’s why he was not able to avoid it or return the ball back to Rafa.

  12. First thing knowing the kind of person and player Rafa is, all fans of tennis should know that he would never pull such a thing on purpose. Next, the Serbs fans are just looking for excuses for Djoker’s loss. He was not playing well all night…so suck it up and shut it up.

  13. No!!!! It wasn’t intentional…it’s part of the game. They’re just upset because Rafa defeated Nole. Rafa, the gentleman that he is, immediately apologized but Nole was rude to just turn his back around!

  14. Dis players first of all don’t even look at where d ball is even going to land on d court nd bsides he was on motion where is d time to think. About getin 2 hit d ball on novak’s face all d haters should go get a life.

  15. It’s part of the game and it happens.. You can see that it’s not made on purpose. Rafa even went to the net to apologise. Djoko didn’t acknowledge Rafa’s apologies.

  16. I’m not saying this because I am a Rafa fan. I am also a fan of other tennis players. I’d like to clear that there was a time I appreciated who Novak Djokovic is.

    It was no surprise that the Serbians felt this way. And I think It’s not just the Serbians but some Djoko fans too. I am not generalizing because I know there are other Serbians and Djoko fans who doesn’t see it that way. But of course, they are few 🙂

    The ball hitting Djoko was definitely unintentional. If you play tennis and you are at this moment when the rally seem to never end, you are more focused on getting the point after the long run instead of focusing on whether you can hit your opponent on his face. I mean seriously!

    Djoko not accepting the apology is also a no surprise. He is mostly polite only when he is winning and when he is not competing with the Top 5 (Just noticed but I hope I am wrong).

  17. Ofcourse the fans and Serbian papers are going to make a scene out of it. its Novak’s Nolefam who are the most extreme.if the same thing would have happened to Rafa, they would have turned around and said that it wasn’t intentional.
    I dont know who watches tennis. Even the blind can see, that when Rafa hit that volley, it was slow and higher over the net, it gave ample time to Novak to reach the net, but Rafa was mid court.Novak, who should have sliced it and cut the pace of the ball, volleyed back with the same height over the net, giving it enough air for Rafa to run down, but then Novak moved in sync with Rafa’s no look winner.unfortunately it hit Novak on his chin/neck/face. And if Rafa would have hit the ball on purpose, there would have been a smile/smirk or no apologies. But Rafa not only apologised then, but he also apologised at the net, which Novak finally accepted! If the players have moved on, so should their fan base. This is just an emotional reaction to Novak’s loss, they are being melodramatic about it as always.
    And the class of the Serbian papers show, the kind of people who run Serbian press, who like nothing more than sensation.

  18. NO NO NO he was running for the ball and hit it Djok should have either been ready or got out of the way his own fault

  19. These kinds of accidents take place quite frequently, and surely Djokovic should know this after all the time he’s played tennis! If he stood there like a statue, and he wasn’t prepared for the return, he should have realized he was going to get hit! He knows how to move on the court, as does Rafa. Surely the Joker is not going to have a tantrum like Daddy did now! It’s a simple concept, Djokovic: When on the court, you move your feet, quickly and nimbly, or you can indeed get pegged by the ball. Duh! Easy concept for you by now, I should hope.

    Rafa, you did the right thing by attempting to apologize. Don’t lose sleep over his not accepting it. Just keep doing your best! Vaya Rafa!

  20. Yes, I entirely agree that these things happen. I was surprised with Djokovic’s response to Rafa’s apology, that was cold and that coldness implied that he took it as intentional from Rafa. But Novak should know better that such hits can happen when players are at the net. Thumbs down to Novak & thumbs up for Rafa.

    • It was obviously not intentional. As most commentators said: Rafa probably wanted to go for Nole’s body. .to make him move out of the way and win the point. ….but he certainly didn’t mean to go for his face!

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