Former seven-time Grand Slam champion John McEnroe thought the Parisian crowd was disrespectful when they booed Novak Djokovic as the Serb was walking out on the court for his French Open meeting versus Rafael Nadal. Going into the match, it was pretty clear the crowd would be on Nadal's side but booing Djokovic right from the jump was maybe a little bit too much.
“No other player has had to deal with more adversity [than Novak]," McEnroe said on Eurosport. "It is unfair, I’ve got to say that. This guy has turned lemons into lemonade more often than any player in the history of tennis, and if you don’t think it bothers him, you’re nuts!
He is so mentally tough that he can deal with this and somehow channel that anger and frustration over what he feels is a lack of respect - and I feel it is too!”
McEnroe: Djokovic will likely get his respect when he retires
Djokovic is one of the greatest and most accomplished players in tennis history but he is not one of the most beloved players.
Being in Djokovic's position is certainly not easy but the Serb is always trying to be fair toward his opponents and crowds. “He’s been wanting to be respected at that same level, and that sort of fuels him but I think it’s unfair, personally,” McEnroe added.
“It’s just something that I can’t explain. I don’t know what it is, honestly. He deserves to be – and he is – respected. It’s just that I’m sure it’s frustrating. I think at the end of the day they will like him more after he stopped playing which sort of ended up being the case with myself, I guess.
But at the time, it’s frustrating. Some of it can be at times your own fault, but I think quite a bit of it isn’t. It’s just that these other guys are so amazing”.