Popularity has never been the same between Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. What should the Serb do to make himself loved by the crowds like the Swiss and the Spaniard? Federer is the most loved tennis player ever, and probably in the future, nobody will be adored like him, and Nadal comes immediately after the Swiss Maestro.
Nole tried to do the same in every way; first, he tried to ingratiate himself with the false attitudes (for someone, of course), as if he had the mania to say: "hey, I am there too, consider me!" Then evidently came the realization that it wasn't succeeding, arrived the new dimension of villain that he should not deserve.
On the contrary. The Serb came out after Federer and Nadal, but he proved to be worth like them. There is still that considers the rivalry between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal the most important and representative of all time for the world of tennis.
Always leaving behind Djokovic, who, cold numbers in hand, has an advantage in the head-to-head against both and is destined to exceed the Swiss and Spaniard's records. "When I hear them sing Roger, I imagine they say, Novak."
This is the essence of an athlete able to transform the let's go Roger of the Wimbledon crowd into strength. So, how can Djokovic be debased when he is still able to dominate the Tour, ignoring the crowd of the courts and their heroes? The history of tennis has reached a key-moment: Djokovic is on the same level as Federer and Nadal.
Maybe he will not have the grace and class of his hated Roger, but on his side, the Serb has a weapon that perhaps the Swiss has never fully dominated: a steel mind. His glides on the grass-courts can make the aesthetes shiver (even the great champions of the surface), but time has proved him right.
Winning Wimbledon five times (yes, even this year, on a surface that just didn't look like grass) counts much more than words and opinions. If the rivalry between Federer and Nadal helped these two great champions outdo each other and improve on each other, Djokovic's arrival did the same thing.
By winning and improving, Nole made sure his two hated rivals (despite the respect among the three players) designated him as their equal. Haters (much more than the fans) are battling on social media, with insults to their heroes and insults among them, but this now, in the world of internet and social media, is part of the game, unfortunately.
Fans and insiders and players know it. If Djokovic will stay well physically, he can seriously think of overcoming Federer's twenty Slams. If he didn't make it, then there wouldn't be many regrets for him. Should he make it, Federer would have a lot of regrets, for unrepeatable opportunities wasted, like that of Sunday.
If Federer had won, we will now be talking about another story. Then you know, the crowd has its heroes and its villains. For the moment Djokovic is not a hero, but he deserves to become it.