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Look, to be sincere, it’s not one thing that the folks don’t see. It’s a undeniable fact that I play 90 p.c of my matches, if not much more than that, in opposition to the opponent, however in opposition to the stadium as effectively,” Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon 2021 winner, mentioned after his victory over American participant Denis Kudla within the third spherical.
Wimbledon 2019 in opposition to Switzerland’s Roger Federer, 2021 French Open last in opposition to Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas and semi-final in opposition to Rafael Nadal, and now Wimbledon this yr. These are simply among the latest Grand Slam matches when the world primary needed to defeat each: the participant and the stadium.
How does he do it? After the 2019 Wimbledon last, Djokovic had famously said, “When the gang is chanting ‘Roger’ I hear ‘Novak’. It sounds foolish, however it’s like that. I attempt to persuade myself that it’s like that.”
It’s evident that among the many tennis’ ‘Huge Three’, Djokovic is on the peak of his profession with shared-record 20 Grand Slam males’s singles titles, whereas Roger Federer and Spain’s Rafael Nadal are of their twilight. Given his present kind and together with his two greatest opponents out of the image for Tokyo Olympics, Djokovic has a terrific likelihood to place himself heading in the right direction to say a ‘Golden Grand Slam’ (when a participant wins all 4 slams in addition to an Olympic gold medal in the identical yr), and turn out to be solely the second participant to realize that feat, after Germany’s Stefanie Graf.
However what’s the cause why everybody likes to hate Novak Djokovic who has each proper to be referred to as a GOAT, who’s on path to greatness and is only a large, sleek delight to look at on court docket?
Djokovic is insecure
Anindya Dutta, creator of Benefit India: The Story of Indian Tennis, says that it’s fairly evident that it pricks Djokovic that the gang is in opposition to him and that makes him insecure. “The extent at which Djokovic performs, ideally, he shouldn’t actually care about getting or not getting love. However for no matter cause, he’s very evidently insecure each on and off court docket in regards to the crowd reception that he will get,” Dutta says.
The creator provides that this insecurity doesn’t finish at Djokovic, but in addition extends to his fan base, which is consistently calling folks out who don’t ‘love him’. “It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Djokovic thinks he isn’t cherished and imposes his insecurity on his followers, and their response on social media annoys everybody else they usually find yourself supporting Djokovic’s opponent, irrespective of who he’s up in opposition to,” Dutta provides.
Maybe there’s some reality in it. Djokovic consistently factors out that he doesn’t get crowd help, which as a rule seems like he’s complaining. He calls for the love that the opposite two of tennis ‘Huge Three’ (Nadal and Federer) get. He may seemingly get into arguments with reporters at press conferences when requested about his on-court behaviours.
— Guardian sport (@guardian_sport) November 14, 2016
“It’s working for him for now, however I feel this adverse suggestions he will get from the gang will have an effect on him negatively in the long term,” Dutta provides.
In case you undergo the Fb feedback or tweets below photos that Djokovic posts, you’ll discover followers typing away Djokovic’s greatness over the opposite two, and are bitter at nearly all different stakeholders in tennis — his opponents, the gang, the journalists… everybody.
The silent majority loves you Nole ❤️. We don’t make it to the stadium however we cheer for you from our properties with our households. The opinions of commentators, journalists and a small British crowd can by no means change that. We, the silent majority love you, and that’s all that issues. pic.twitter.com/7VcyLCsxRR
— Thuso ➐ (@djokertennis) July 12, 2021
20 grand slam
however loads of haters!
haters gonna be mad!
we love you djokovic! a legend!
— gevşek (@gevsekgevsek) July 11, 2021
Additionally learn: Why maverick Andy Murray defined an era of thrilling tennis (and rivalry)
Struggle for love
Djokovic could have claimed the equal variety of Grand Slams as Federer and Nadal, however he hasn’t received as many hearts.
That is one thing that Djokovic has talked about himself. “It’s a reality that the majority followers help Federer and Nadal in opposition to me, however that’s on account of what they characterize in world tennis,” he had said in a press convention in Serbia in 2020.
Novak’s father Srdjan Djokovic has additionally spoken up about it.
Djokovic’s father: “Novak is an invisible miracle, he was despatched by God to indicate that Serbs will not be murderers or savages. The complete world is aware of he’s the GOAT. The hardest factor for him is that he doesn’t have the identical help as Federer and Nadal, which could be very stunning.”
— Luigi Gatto (@gigicat7_) March 17, 2021
It’s true. Fedal followers usually get collectively to rally in opposition to Novak Djokovic. And without end stay bitter about this challenger who equalled their wins in a lot lesser time.
For one factor, Federer and Nadal have been completely dominating the Grand Slam scene when, in 2008, Djokovic marked his entry with a win on the Australian Open and commenced to spoil the get together for the 2.
However there’s additionally one thing to do with temperament and self-discipline that Nadal and Federer exhibit. The 2 are nice buddies off the court docket, have been round longer, and resultantly, Djokovic all the time comes throughout because the distant third within the trio.
This turned much more pronounced prior to now two years. When Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have been tweeting about not happening tour due to the raging Covid-19 pandemic, Novak Djokovic was speaking about not trusting vaccines and organising a charity match (Adria Cup) within the Balkans which changed into a Covid hotspot.
In brief, Djokovic was behaving in probably the most irresponsible, reckless method, whereas Nadal and Federer have been main by instance.
When Nadal and Federer sat out of US Open 2020 — due to Covid — Djokovic not solely went there quickly after the Adria Cup debacle, he ended up getting disqualified after by chance hitting a line choose with a ball. True to their model, Djokovic’s followers got here down on the road choose with a volley of abuses and threats on her Instagram account, to the purpose that the Serbian needed to step in and ask them to cease.
The Covid debacle has solely fuelled extra anti-Djokovic rhetoric, bringing him names like ‘Novax Djocovid’. Djokovic additionally expressed support for Alexander Zverev, who’s going through allegations of home abuse, another excuse why the anti-Djokovic squad has grown. For my part, for good cause.
Smoother sail for Nole
Djokovic has additionally had a a lot smoother sail, a rivalry I agree with. This causes nice resentment amongst followers of Federer and Nadal.
Whereas Federer dominated tennis when not solely Rafael Nadal was at his peak, however the two additionally had inimitable opponents like Stan Wawrinka, Juan Martin Del Potro, Andy Murray, Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt and Marat Safin, and, after all, Novak Djokovic. Within the newer technology of gamers, no one seems promising sufficient to present a good competitors to Djoker in Grand Slams — not Russia’s Daniil Medvedev, not Greece’s Stefano Tsitsipas, nor Austria’s Dominic Thiem.
Federer and Nadal have additionally been very liable to accidents, and Djokovic has swooped some slams of their absence and elevated his rely quickly.
Nadal all the time outperformed Federer and Djokovic in head-to-head (till Djokovic took over not too long ago) and has performed with a number of grave accidents over time, which led many to advise him, even originally of his profession, that he ought to cease taking part in tennis and concentrate on golf, as Nadal describes in his autobiography Rafa.
Listed below are some stats:
Between 2008-2010, when Federer and Nadal have been at their peak, they received 4 and 6 Grand Slams, respectively, whereas Djokovic had only one to himself.
Between 2014 and 2021, when each gamers have been off tour for longer intervals of time, lacking 11 Slams in complete, Djokovic received 14 Grand Slams to Nadal and Federer’s 10 mixed.
Whereas all of us can like to hate Djokovic, there’s little doubt that the psychological energy and bodily prowess he’s displayed makes him the GOAT. There’s little doubt that on the finish of the Huge Three period, Djokovic can have extra slams than his counterparts. The goat has solely simply began consuming grass. I hate it, however I can’t deny it.
Views are private.
(Edited by Prashant Dixit)
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