Novak Djokovic exited the US Open with a tremendous disappointment, having failed to complete the Grand Slam. The world number 1 would become the second man in the Open Era after Rod Laver to win all four majors in the same year.
The Serbian phenomenon would also have surpassed the eternal rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the all-time ranking to reach 21 Slam. Mental and physical fatigue prevented Nole from performing at his best in the last act against Daniil Medvedev, author of a truly excellent performance.
The 34-year-old from Belgrade let himself go to a liberating cry during the last change of pitch, having finally felt the love of an audience - the New Yorker - who had almost always been against him during his career. It is still unclear whether Djokovic will return to the field in 2021, or if he may opt for a long rest for next season.
Interviewed by Eurosport, Boris Becker invited the tennis 'community' to review their judgment on Novak both on and off the pitch.
Becker opens up on Novak Djokovic
"I know Novak Djokovic privately and professionally, and I can only say that he is a fine guy," Becker said while speaking on Eurosport.
"A competitor who sometimes misbehaves on the court, but who doesn't? The public, including the media, really have to get used to the fact that there are not just two, but three [legends], who have great qualities as players and as individuals."
Boris Becker also asserted that it is unfair to villanize Novak Djokovic while always painting Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in a positive light. "It is not acceptable that Novak is always the bad guy and Roger and Rafa are always the good guys - that is unfair," Becker added.
Djokovic went on to hold serve to make it 4-5, and during the change of ends he broke down in tears. "With all the expectations on himself, he must have been asked every day since Wimbledon whether he would win the Grand Slam or become the record holder with 21 Majors," Becker said.
"It came over him, so to speak. His speech after the event was all the more remarkable. Still with wet eyes he explained to the New Yorkers, 'today is the most beautiful day of my life, because finally I feel that I am respected and loved'
And this on a day when he could not take advantage of what might have been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win all the Majors in one year," the German added.