Interesting stuff from Ravi Ubha, who's not known to be a sensationalist (unlike *some* tennis reporters out there):
The heat, which prompted Djokovic to retire in last year's quarterfinal against Roddick, visibly got to him. Sinking into his chair at a changeover in the middle of the third set, Djokovic panted as he asked for an ice towel.
Chiudinelli was less bothered by the warmth, and a cynic would suggest he resorted to gamesmanship in an effort to keep Djokovic in the heat for as long as possible. Although Chiudinelli and Federer remain close, no love is lost between the latter and Djokovic.
At the end of the third set, Chiudinelli took his time leaving the court for a toilet break. Upon his return, he wasted a few more seconds changing his shirt. Getting back to the baseline to return serve, he offered no apology.
Chiudinelli's career has been impacted by serious knee and shoulder injuries, and he sported a strapping below his left knee. Down 3-0 in the third set, he took an injury timeout for an ailing right foot when Djokovic had game point, not waiting for a changeover. In the first point back, Djokovic double-faulted.
Djokovic later broke his shoes midgame but played on. He then apologized for taking an extended break during the changeover, new shoes in tow.
"I said to him, 'If that ever happens again, you have to call a timeout, you are in an unplayable situation,'" Martin said. "He said, 'No, that's not how I want to do it.'"
I didn't see this part of the match so I didn't know there was any drama. Oh, well. Onward and upward, Nole. And you should really check with Sergio Tacchini about making shoes for you. Clearly the Adidas ones don't do you well.