John McEnroe defends Novak Djokovic and compares him to Darth Vader

The American legend sided with the Serbian champion, who had an argument with Holger Rune's fans, at the end of the Wimbledon 4th round match

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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John McEnroe defends Novak Djokovic and compares him to Darth Vader
© Gareth Cattermole / Staff Julian Finney / Staff Getty Images

Novak Djokovic's charisma was definitely missing, even in a temple like Wimbledon Centre Court, where the seraphic atmosphere was first shattered by Holger Rune's fans and their Ruuuuune, then by the sarcastic statements of the Serbian champion against teh Dane's fans. You can love or not Djokovic, but his charisma is like a breath of fresh air in a year of tennis Tour where players who have the charisma of the Serb have been missing. A charisma like that of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Tennis is a wonderful sport, for its composed elegance and style, but let's face it; a bit of controversy and tackiness - in small doses - are good for our favorite game.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic© Julian Finney / Staff Getty Images Sport
 

After the words shared on-court and at the press conference, many fans and insiders harshly attacked the Serb for his reaction, considered exaggerated for the context.

John McEnroe defended Djokovic, placing him in a broader context in which he compared him to Federer, Nadal and...Darth Vader!

"He's Darth Vader to some people. Look, you have two of the greatest classy champions we've ever seen play tennis. Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer. Who can compare to them in terms of what they bring to the table and how people love them? Nobody. And then this guy, Djokovic, has the nerve to come in and crash the party. He's been fighting against that his whole career. Yeah, he feeds off of negative energy. And yeah, I used to feed off of that sometimes. But I kind of hated it. You want people to yell at you and hope you lose? Just because you're so good they start rooting for the other guy for no reason other than you're so good. That's why people are against him in my opinion. It's easy to be the backseat driver and let it go. But that's what he's been dealing with for 10, 15, 20 years, that people have done this.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic© Mike Hewitt / Staff Getty Images Sport
 

I admire the courage he had to say it there. It takes something. In a way, that's going to turn more people against him. He doesn't deserve it at this point. We need him and he's been too big for our game, in my opinion. So it's like: How about you respect me after all this? Think about this, here's a guy who had surgery a month ago. The odds were 10 or 20 percent that he would play this tournament. He's thinking: I'm helping this tournament. And he's doing that. Why don't I get some love when I play a guy who's 15 in the world? Who hasn't done a damn thing compared to him. Yeah, maybe there were a handful of Danes saying Rune and I understand that people want to see a good game. We all want to see a good game. But you have to respect the greatness you see" explained the American legend.

John Mcenroe Novak Djokovic Holger Rune
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