Tuesday 9 July 2024

John McEnroe says Noval Djokovic has been disrespected by audiences

John McEnroe is amazed at how Novak Djokovic has managed to deal with a lack of respect by a minority of tennis audiences for the 21 years that he has been playing professional tennis. 

He believes that Novak has been unfairly treated and he believes that a minority of perhaps Danish people in the audience when Novak faced Holger Rune were in fact booing him as Novak said and not supporting Rune. A kind of sneaky booing.

And Novak has faced that all his professional playing days. He has learned to feed off it and play better. But it must irk him badly. 

John McEnroe said that this lack of respect for Novak never happened to Federer or Nadal. Those two were worshipped. But the imposter that is Novak Djokovic has beaten both of them in terms of the number of grand slam tournaments won. Novak might make it 25 grand slams at this Wimbledon. That looks entirely possible despite the knee injury he suffered just before Wimbledon. The man is amazing and his diet is equally amazing. 😉

Johnny Mac could not put his finger on why Novak has been disrespected all this time.

No one has explained it. Novak is an amazing tennis player. Perhaps some people in the audience don't like it that he is so good. Almost like a robot. Non-human abilities. That might be a reason.

He wins so much so people might like to see his opponent win which may end up looking like disrespect for Novak.

Because he wins so much and is so good McEnroe believes that he should receive praise not disrespect.

And McEnroe says that Novak has been brilliant for professional tennis. He has helped to raise the overall standard of tennis. 

McEnroe expressed disbelief as to why he does not get the respect that he deserves.

I think the reasons for him not being respected like Federer and Nadal is because his game is, as mentioned, somewhat robot-like. It is super-efficient but less attractive than the games of Nadal and Federer.

There also may be a racist element. Novak is Serbian. He comes from Eastern Europe. Eastern European are general less well liked than Northern Europeans. Perhaps because there is more crime and corruption in Eastern Europe compared to Northern Europe. Just guessing but if I am right it is very unfair because racism against anyone is unjustified and immoral.

Novak Djokovic hitting back at the Wimbledon crowd. Image: Getty Images.

Extract of what John McEnroe said:

In conversation with Claire Balding the BBC presenter, an animated McEnroe said: "He [Novak Djokovic] has been battling this for his whole career. Yes he feeds off negative energy and yes I did feed off that at times, but I hated it in a way. Do you want people yelling against you, hoping you'll lose, just because you're so good they start pulling for the other guy for no reason other than you're so good?

"He is like the Darth Vader. There's two of the greatest class acts we have seen in tennis, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, who can compare to them in terms of what they have brought to the table and the way that people love them? Nobody. Then this guy Djokovic has the 'nerve' to come in and break into the party.

"It's like 'how about respecting me in all this?' Here's a guy that had a surgery a month ago, the odds are that 10 per cent that he wouldn't play this tournament. He is thinking 'I'm helping this tournament', which he is, why don't I get some love when I am playing a guy who is 15 in the world and hasn't done a damn thing compared to him?

"So yes there were maybe a handful of Danish people going 'Rune' and I get that people want to see a good match, but you have to respect the greatness that you see. It's easy to be the backseat driver now and let it go and (say) they weren't doing that, but that's what he has been dealing with for 10, 15, 20 years.

"I admire the guts that he had to say it there, that takes something because that's in a way going to put more people against him. He doesn't deserve that at this stage, we need him and he has been too great for our game.

"How about they have gone too far the other way? Is it possible that maybe that the fans in there have disrespected him? Don't you think that there has been at least 100 matches over the course of the last 10 or 15 years where Novak Djokovic has been disrespected because of how good he is?

"Why? What has he done that has been that bad? Name something. What is it, that he wants it? That he competes as hard as anyone has ever competed on a tennis court? I just don't get why, is it the look or where he is from?"


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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