While Novak Djokovic has achieved countless successes over the past decade and is its great ruler, he has not yet reached the level of popularity of his eternal rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The number 1 in the world often has to deal with the hostility of the public in the most important tournaments, even when he is facing opponents who are not too well known.
We had an example in the match with Denis Kudla at Wimbledon, which saw the Serbian squabble several times with the fans almost entirely lined up on the side of the American. The 34-year-old from Belgrade started 2021 very well, so much so that he won both the Australian Open and Roland Garros.
In Paris Nole became the author of an extraordinary ride, embellished by the victory over the king of the earth Nadal in the semifinals. The 19-time Grand Slam champion then came back two sets to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the last act, confirming his impressive physical and mental strength.
In a recent interview with Rick Broadbent for the 'Times', his coach Goran Ivanisevic explained how Djokovic will never enjoy the same treatment as Federer.
Roger Federer arrived on the scene long before the Serb
“I think they are going to miss Novak Djokovic [when he eventually retires]," Goran Ivanisevic said.
"He is never going to have the love of Roger Federer, but I don’t think he cares. Sometimes he needs people against him to feel a little push. He has fans, people love him, but they support Federer more because he came first," the former Wimbledon winner added.
"But you have to appreciate what he does. The guy has won everything. The guy is fighting. They will miss him. They will say, ‘F***, we would like Djokovic to come back." The Croat likened Djokovic to Robin Hood, a fictional character best known for offering a helping hand to the underprivileged.
“Sometimes people only pick out the bad things he does,” Ivanisevic adds. “They don’t see the good he does in helping others. He is the person who is not afraid to speak out, the only tennis player who stands up for the other players.
He is the Robin Hood of tennis”. In a day’s time, Denis Shapovalov would play in his first-ever Grand Slam semifinal at the 2021 Wimbledon Championships. The Canadian has had a scintillating run so far, having ousted Andy Murray, Roberto Bautista Agut, and Karen Khachanov to reach the penultimate stage.
However, now he comes across the toughest challenge of his career as faces the 19-time Grand Slam champion, Novak Djokovic, for a place in the final.