Despite having been the great ruler of the last decade, Novak Djokovic has repeatedly admitted that he still does not have the same popularity as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. By winning the Australian Open 2020, the Serbian phenomenon has risen to 17 Grand Slam titles, increasingly close to his eternal rivals.
The World number 1 is also vying to become the player who has spent the most weeks at the top of the world rankings. Some fans of Nole claim that there is an attitude of excessive protection towards Roger, such as to make the Swiss practically untouchable.
The reference - not too veiled - is to the fierce criticism that rained down on Djokovic after the organization of the Adria Tour. However, Marion Bartoli defended the media from these claims, claiming the need to judge Roger like any other tennis player.
Bartoli on Roger Federer
“I don’t think we protect Roger Federer every single time,” Marion Bartoli said. “He has been able to build this image of the perfect person. Knowing him, he is not far from it but he has made mistakes.
Recently [for example] he was photographed with somebody without a mask in pictures that came up online”. Despite her defence of the media, Bartoli does believe that Djokovic has much to learn about how to promote a better image of himself.
“I don’t think the treatment is that different for Novak and Roger, and Djokovic will learn from what he has done and the consequences. He will probably try to build a better persona, but to say Roger can do anything and nobody will touch him is taking it too far”.
The US Open 2020 will be the first Grand Slam since 1999 not to be able to rely on either Federer or Nadal. Instead, Djokovic should be present, provided that the problem of quarantine on return to Europe is solved. The US Open in terms of protocols has taken some strict decisions.
There will be no fans in the Flushing Meadows. There will be regular temperature and symptom checks. And entourage with the player is also limited. Wesley Koolof, the dutch doubles specialist tweeted the waiver document the players have to sign to play in the US Open.
The US Open is making sure that the players realize and take responsibility for the risk they are taking by coming to the US. “I am fully aware of the risks involved with entering USTA National Tennis Center Incorporated premises and facilities located at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Flushing, New York” read the first line in the waiver.