John Millman says tennis players know "Novak Djokovic is a hero dressed as a villain." In a column for news.com.au, Millman explained why Djokovic being perceived as the villain may just not be right. "For the last fifteen years Roger and Rafa, our cape donning warriors, have delighted adoring crowds.
But for this story to work we needed an anti-hero of equal brilliance. Enter Novak Djokovic," Millman wrote. Djokovic is no stranger to criticism and controversy as just in recent years he was heavily criticized for his vaccine stance and the Australia visa saga.
But when the ATP season was suspended due to the pandemic in 2020, Djokovic wanted to raise funds for lower-ranked players. When tennis resumed, Djokovic from his own pocket hosted two ATP tournaments and a Challenger tournament.
Also, Djokovic supported Australia during the bushfires and he also launched the PTPA - an organization that is working on ensuring better rights and conditions for players on all levels. "Over the years I’ve danced with the devil, (and he whooped me on several occasions!), but the more I danced the more I realised that our game’s most divisive player was perhaps not a villain, but a hero in disguise," Millman wrote.
Millman on what fans don't know: Djokovic is a hero dressed as a villain
"Novak will always divide opinion. He certainly has strong beliefs and unwavering principles that might not be agreeable. For some he will always be someone we hope not to succeed.
I believe in time though more people will come to realise what his colleagues already know, Novak is a hero dressed as a villain. And that was exactly what our sport needed," Millman concluded. In his column, Millman highlighted several positive things and initiatives from Djokovic. Judging by Millman's words, ATP players have a ton of respect for Djokovic and his efforts to help the game grow.