'Novak Djokovic stepping up and showing what...', says ATP ace
by SIMONE BRUGNOLI | VIEW 3853
Seven-time Grand Slam champion John McEnroe believes that Novak Djokovic deserves more credit even though Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are probably the two most popular players. Djokovic, Nadal and Federer are considered the top three players in tennis history, but Djokovic has never approached the level of popularity of Nadal or Federer.
As Djokovic entered his French Open quarterfinal match against Nadal, the Parisian crowd greeted him with boos. Then, during the match, it was clear that the public was on Nadal's side. "He [Medvedev] didn't deserve that [being booed], nor did Djokovic deserve it at the French [Open].
When they played, they booed him when he came out," McEnroe told GQ. "Djokovic, you may not like him as much as Nadal or Federer, but he's a credit to our game, for God's sake. Medvedev, to me, has not emotionally recovered from that loss [in the Australian Open final].
Not only because he lost, but because of the public. I had the ability to have a crowd. I got the biggest ovation in the game I lost in France against [Ivan] Lendl. 90% of the people were clapping for me and somehow I finally got everyone to clap against me.
That requires talent, to have an audience that loves you and hates you at the end." Last Sunday, Djokovic defeated Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon final to lift his 21st Grand Slam title. Nadal remains the holder of the all-time Grand Slam record with 22 Grand Slams, while Federer is now third with 20.
As Djokovic is likely to be unable to compete at the US Open and there is a possibility that he will not be allowed to compete at the Australian Open, we may not see the Serb at a Grand Slam until Roland Garros 2023.
Auger-Aliassime reflects on Djokovic
Even before the 2022 Wimbledon Championships kicked off in June, Felix Auger-Aliassime decided to participate in the Hall of Fame Open.
“Before the final, we were practicing together and discussing what we think is going to happen and how we saw the match going. To talk with a tennis mind like his, it's always cool," Aliassime said. “We agreed. I predicted what happened for Novak Djokovic in four sets.
Andy thought maybe in three sets. But we all knew it could be tricky at the end of the day. We saw it was not an easy match, even for the one who won. It was interesting to see what Andy thought. Djokovic, once again, stepping up and showing what a champion he is, was quite remarkable and inspiring for sure," Aliassime added.