Former British tennis player Mark Petchey thinks the hate Novak Djokovic receives comes from those “blinded fans.”
Djokovic, ranked at No. 1 in the world, is one of the most successful players in tennis history but he has never enjoyed the love or reputation that Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer enjoy.
Nadal and Federer are fan favorites wherever they go, while Djokovic has the crowd against him almost wherever he goes.
Djokovic is often criticised though many believe that the Serb is unfairly targeted.
“Honestly, it comes from those blinded fans. If they would put themselves in Novak’s place, sacrifice a lot and dedicate their lives to becoming the best in what they do, and do that convincingly. It is fair to say that he is the best player of his generation, just look at the head-to-head… It’s hard for me not to respect that, not to admire it, not to get up and not to give a standing ovation,” Petchey told Sasa Ozmo of Sport Klub.
Petchey has great admiration for Djokovic
Djokovic, 34, came a long way and had to tackle many challenges and obstacles before becoming the player he is today.
Djokovic now holds the all-time record for most weeks spent at No. 1 and he is on the verge of winning a record 21st Grand Slam at the US Open.
“I played tennis at a lower level and I know how difficult it is. In addition, to come from a country like Serbia, where it must have been very difficult to have that dream, and then the ability to conquer the world. Part of my admiration (towards Novak) stems precisely because of the path he has crossed, not only because of his success, but also because of the obstacles he had to overcome on that path,” Petchey explained.
Djokovic has been absolutely dominant at the Grand Slam level this year, winning the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon.
Djokovic will also capture a Calendar Grand Slam if he wins the US Open.