Zeballos With Greetings From Doha

DOHA, January 5, 2017

Novak Djokovic eased into the third round of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Argentine Horacio Zeballos on Wednesday evening. The actual headline of the match, however, took place after the encounter, when the World No. 2 posed for a selfie with his opponent.

Djokovic congratulated Zeballos for being “original” after stopping for a snap.  “It was a quite nice surprise. I never experienced that in let’s say an official tournament. Quite a creative idea,” the 29-year-old Serbian told in his post match press conference.

“I don’t know what the motivation was. I don’t know if he was a fan or not, but it was just a funny idea and thought to do that. I thought it was just very original, creative, and in a very friendly manner.

“I think in the end of the day, two tennis players on the court try to outplay each other and win in the game of tennis. Once that’s finished, once you shake hands, you’re people. You’re people when you’re competing. You’re a person, a human being. Of course you want to win. But once it’s done, it’s done. The past is behind you,” told Djokovic, who also gave credit to Zeballos for playing some fearless tennis.

“I think today’s selfie is a nice example about how one person and a player can leave whatever behind is behind. It was just minute or two after we shook hands. He was already over his lost match and he moved into doing something different. I applaud him for that. I think it was a really nice gesture.”

Djokovic will next take on Czech veteran Radek Stepanek in the quarterfinals of the ATP 250 tournament – a repetition of events may seem unlikely, but let’s see what will happen.