- Novak Djokovic had said he "cannot promise" he'll never get disqualified again, despite saying he'd learned his lesson from the US Open.
- The Serbian was defaulted out of the US Open earlier this month after he accidentally struck a female line judge in the throat with a ball.
- "Sometimes situations like this happen," he told The Times of London. "I cannot promise or guarantee I will never ever do anything similar to that in my life."
- He added: "I have outbursts and this is the personality and the player that I have always been."
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World number one Novak Djokovic has said he "cannot promise" he'll never get disqualified for bad behavior again, despite saying he'd learned his lesson from the US Open.
The Serbian was defaulted out of the Grand Slam in the fourth round earlier this month after he accidentally struck a female line judge in the throat with a ball which he had batted away in frustration.
Shortly after, Djokovic told reporters at the Italian Open that the incident was a "big lesson" for him and that he was working to eradicate such outbursts from his game.
However, speaking with The Times of London on Monday, the 33-year-old then reversed that stance, insisting tantrums are part of who he is as a player.
"I understand that I have outbursts and this is the personality and the player that I have always been," Djokovic said.
"Obviously I went through ups and downs in my career and managed to control my emotions more or less, but you are alone out there, it's a lot of intensity, a lot of pressure and you have to deal with that. Sometimes situations like this happen.
"I cannot promise or guarantee I will never ever do anything similar to that in my life. I am definitely willing to try my best so that something like that never happens again, obviously."
Djokovic's expulsion from the US Open was the latest misdemeanor in what has been a regrettable year for the 17-time Grand Slam winner, despite not yet losing a match.
The Serb was responsible for organizing the Adria Tour, an un-socially distanced exhibition event that ended prematurely after numerous players — including Djokovic himself — contracted the coronavirus, while he also faced widespread criticism after saying he was "opposed to vaccination."
Asked by The Times if his behaviour this year could potential tarnish his reputation as one of the greatest players of all time, Djokovic said: "I will leave that to other people and their judgment. I try to be honest, transparent and respectful, and try to represent the right values in life.
"Of course I am not perfect, I have flaws. Whether that is going to stay as something that people will always remember, I don't know. Time will tell, I guess."
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