Home Tennis Novak Djokovic: The Unloved Nice of Tennis Historical past

Novak Djokovic: The Unloved Nice of Tennis Historical past

Novak Djokovic: The Unloved Nice of Tennis Historical past


On the 2023 French Open, Novak Djokovic achieved the subsequent unbelievable feat in tennis historical past by profitable a file 23 majors within the males’s recreation.

Certainly, he’s now the favorite to win Wimbledon and will even full the calendar grand slam by profitable the US Open in September.

His uncooked skill, return of serve and excessive flexibility are the bedrock of a constant and fruitful profession that has lasted 20 years. This needs to be celebrated.

In comparison with his closest rivals, Djokovic has surpassed Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer on many ranges. He has gained extra grand slams and has a profitable head-to-head match file towards each.

Djokovic has achieved additional information that the opposite two gamers haven’t – holding all grand slam titles without delay (Wimbledon 2015 – Roland Garros 2016), profitable every grand slam a minimum of thrice, profitable every 9 Masters 1000 titles a minimum of twice, and spending essentially the most weeks – 387 – because the world primary.

However one factor that Djokovic lacks as compared is the extent of fandom that Nadal and Federer skilled.

To make sure, Djokovic does have his supporters, and there are tens of millions of them. However not like Nadal and Federer, Djokovic appears to draw a gradual drip of controversy, adverse press protection and a gaggle of tennis viewers who’re actively towards Djokovic’s additional success.

Little doubt, his supporters, by way of numbers, considerably outweigh his detractors, however it’s odd that somebody so profitable might be so disliked within the sport.

Djokovic Accomplished a second Golden Masters in 2020

Within the burgeoning days of his profession, Djokovic upset the Nadal-Federer rivalry that followers cherished a lot. Till 2008, Djokovic by no means gained a serious, and the principle occasion in tennis was neatly segmented into two opposing taking part in types; the magnificence and style of Federer, matched with Nadal’s uncooked physicality and grinding willpower.

Quickly after the gifted Djokovic gained the 2008 Australian Open, it was clear the tennis panorama might be redrawn, even when the Nadal-Federer rivalry reached its zenith within the Spaniard’s 2008 Wimbledon last victory, generally seen as the best tennis match ever performed.

Then from 2011 – 2012, from Wimbledon to the Australian Open, Djokovic would beat Nadal in 3 successive grand slam finals.

Additional pains for “Fedal” followers had been brought on by Djokovic beating the opposite two gamers in their very own yard. For all intents and functions, the Swiss was the grasp at Wimbledon, profitable an eventual file eight titles. But Djokovic conquered supposedly the very best grass courtroom participant of all time in each Wimbledon last they met; 2014, 2015 and 2019.

Djokovic vs Federer, Wimbledon 2019

Equally, Nadal created the spine of his success as the best clay courtroom participant. Djokovic’s affect on Nadal was much less extreme than on Federer. Nonetheless, he stays the one man to beat him twice at Roland Garros (2015 and 2021), together with six victories towards Nadal in clay Masters 1000 tournaments.

Impressively, Djokovic snapped Nadal’s 8-year maintain over the Masters 1000 Monte-Carlo occasion in 2013 to win the title.

For others, a three-way competitors is extra fascinating, whereas Federer and Nadal have brazenly mentioned that, together with one another, the arrival of Djokovic pressured them to get higher.

Djokovic vs Nadal, Monte-Carlo 2013

It might be argued that Djokovic hasn’t helped his recognition both. That isn’t to say that debate about key problems with our time (like a world pandemic) ought to be discouraged.

And why shouldn’t Djokovic be capable of voice his opinion like every other particular person? However he has been concerned in a sequence of occasions that some regard as controversies, or at greatest, adherence to weird beliefs or fads.

The supply of those occasions has primarily revolved round his views on Covid-19 and its preventative steerage. In 2019, he helped kind the Skilled Tennis Gamers Affiliation to deal with the so-called shortcomings of the ATP, WTA and ITF in a shock breakaway.

In 2020 he organised the Adria Tour, which resulted in varied gamers being contaminated with Covid-19, together with Djokovic and his spouse, Jelena.

Later in 2020, he was defaulted from the US Open for by chance placing a line decide’s throat with a ball. In 2022 he was deported from Australia after a authorized battle over his non-vaccinated standing.

In 2023 he stirred the ire of the French authorities by commenting on the continuing Kosovo independence query.

Djokovic is Defaulted from the 2020 US Open

Naturally, not everybody thinks these episodes reveal one thing adverse about Djokovic, or a minimum of they agree together with his primary argument.

For some, he’s the sufferer of dangerous luck, nervous Canberra politicians and a society that takes epidemiological recommendation from their authorities prime facie.

Additional, too, is the concept that animosity towards Djokovic has been cultivated out of its pure degree (no matter that could be) by a hostile, predominately Western press.

Clutching on the slightest trace of impropriety, journalists back-catalogue Djokovic’s previous misdemeanours with shock headlines within the pursuit of clicks and revenue. 

Past the defending followers of Djokovic are tennis gamers themselves. Djokovic has garnered huge skilled and private respect from the locker room. He’s not an remoted determine on the tour, with such mates as Grigor Dimitrov, Alexander Zverev and Filip Krajinovic.

For professionals and high-level faculty gamers alike, Djokovic is seen as a “participant’s participant” –  having the form of refined method on his serve, footwork and backhand that college students of the sport pay shut consideration to.

Djokovic (together with the game’s statistical revolution) has additionally affected fashionable teaching frameworks, with a brand new emphasis on high-percentage tennis and decreasing unforced errors.

Younger youngsters are unaffected by the media information cycle and proudly put on Djokovic’s equipment and even proclaim his identify as their very own as they hit mushy orange follow balls within the sunshine with mates or dad and mom.

Djokovic’s philanthropic affect in Serbia has additionally been felt, with the Novak Djokovic Basis aiming to enhance preschool training. €15,000,000 has been donated by his charity, serving to roughly 53,000 youngsters.

Djokovic is the preeminent movie star in his homeland, being a world ambassador for a Serbia that in any other case has comparatively little worldwide illustration or clout. He’s additionally a vivid mild in his nation’s historical past after many years of upheaval and violence following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Djokovic is ceaselessly handled as tennis’s villain off the again of his controversies. However I don’t imagine he’s essentially manufactured from evil stuff. He doesn’t want anybody unwell or perpetrate any crimes.

Djokovic has a set of beliefs which can be usually within the minority and correspondingly conflict with the consensus view.

Typically these beliefs are innocently (and even naively) held. Often they’ve opposed results. Holding the Adria Tour, for instance, was, in hindsight, not the very best thought.

Hitting the road decide was a mistake however a tournament-ending mistake, nonetheless. Although Djokovic doesn’t imply to, he has, in impact, upset many individuals within the tennis world and past. But, at his core, he isn’t a foul man.

The saddest factor about Djokovic is probably he all the time needed the group’s affection however by no means received it. As a substitute, he resolved to play the antihero, attempting to carve out some sense {of professional} identification in a task handed to him by a big group of followers and observers. In doing so, he has reached new heights within the sport.

The mixed world view of Djokovic is blended. He’s without delay a troublemaker and an inspiration, a technical mannequin and a non-conformist, a rogue and a hero.

Whereas he continues to divide opinion in tennis, he’s, initially, an awesome champion of our sport.

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What are your views on Djokovic? Is he extra of a hero than a villain? And does he trigger his personal controversy, or does the media largely stir it? Depart your feedback under.



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