Novak Djokovic got his fourth Slam final of the season, after the success in straight sets over Ben Shelton 6-3, 6-2, 7-6(4) in 2 hours and 40 minutes, which allowed him to obtain the final at the US Open 2023. However, fans tore the Serbian champion to pieces for making fun of his young opponent, imitating him on the court.
After knocking down Shelton, Djokovic imitated the American picking up the phone and then hanging up the phone Some fans have pointed out that these attitudes of Novak Djokovic are the reason why fans don't love him as much as Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
Other fans considered the Serbian champion's behavior towards his young opponent superfluous. It should be emphasized how Nole has gained the love of the crowd, and how his behavior makes him a genuine person, whether they like it or not.
Here are some of the comments from fans on X who argued against Nole:
Safe to say Novak Djokovic had enough of Ben Shelton's today...
Imitated his post match point celebration...
Ben saw and didn't like.
Imo, completely unnecessary celebration from 36-year-old Novak Djokovic after beating a 20-year-old Ben Shelton, who was playing the biggest match of his carreer in front of his home crowd and was *never* disrespectful towards him.
Novak's "hang-up" thing at the end was a little cartoonishly uncalled for, right? It was a straight set win that was never in doubt.
— Tick Tock Tennis (@TickTockTennis) September 8, 2023
This is why Nole will never be seen in the same light as Rafa and Roger. He doesn’t want anyone to succeed but himself. — Liam Freeman (@LiquidatorPod) September 8, 2023
Shelton: "Djokovic's imitation? Here's what I think"
In the press conference, after the defeat, the young US player explained: "There are a lot of positive aspects to take away with me: it was an excellent journey.
It was nice to play the last Slam of the season here and do well in front of the American crowd. It's really special to me. It's not the result I wanted, but I can't wait to get back to work and play again. I think I've learned a lot about myself in these two weeks: how far I can go, what I can do to be competitive.
I'm satisfied with the way I played during the tournament." Djokovic, after closing the match, imitated the American's celebration, or rather the gesture of the phone call: "I only saw it after the match. I don't like it when people on social media tell me how I can or can't celebrate.
When you win the game, you deserve to do whatever you want. As a child I always learned that imitation is the most sincere form of appreciation. That's all I'll say about it! Djokovic can compete at the highest level: he has a similar mentality to me on the court.
It shows his emotions and I think it was nice to play this match for the first time. I can't wait to face him again. I tried to approach the match with an open mind. I always watched Djokovic on television when I was little, but I entered the court as if I were challenging any other player.
I think Novak has a little more energy than other players I've faced. You feel the fighting spirit in him”.
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