Novak Djokovic is arguably the greatest player ever, but he certainly isn’t the most beloved, based on most crowd reactions during tournaments. Do the fans want him to lose? If so, why? No offense to Andrey Rublev, but his outbursts on the court should cause more fans to dislike him than the normally calm Djokovic.
Sure, Novak Djokovic often eggs a crowd on by wanting even more noise from them after they have begun jeering him or pulling for the other player. Maybe there is some petty jealousy about the level of sustained success he has reached, and maybe some do not like him because of his vaccination status, but does he deserve the amount of disrespect he gets? Not at all.
The good thing is that some members of the tennis community have felt the need to point out that Djokovic should be more respected. This week during the ATP Finals, Amazon Prime analyst Mark Petchey said to the tennis-watching audience, “I just feel Novak is at this stage of his career that even if you don’t agree with every decision that he has made, no genius across all walks of life has always made decisions you always agree with.
Two defend the excellence of Novak Djokovic
“But I do feel that as he strides atop of the men’s game at this stage of his career and given all the sacrifices and sporting moments he has given to us, I hope the crowds around the world in the final vestiges of his career give him the love and support and the embrace that all of that hard work deserves.” Well said, Mr. Petchey.
On the Tennis Channel broadcast, current ATP player and part-time tennis commentator Nick Kyrgios somewhat echoed Petchey’s words. Kyrgios called Djokovic the “undisputed GOAT.” Does the NFL’s Tom Brady get the same kind of hate as Novak Djokovic? No. And Djokovic does not deserve the disrespect either.
In other news, Novak Djokovic will not have any chance of playing Andy Murray at this week’s Davis Cup. Murray had to pull out of the tournament due to a shoulder injury. The great Brit has suffered so many injuries over the last five years that one why he keeps playing. Still, I am glad he does.