“Doesn’t Fit Into That Western Mold”: Coach Explains Why Novak Djokovic Is Hated Unlike Federer and Nadal

Published 08/10/2021, 7:00 AM EDT
Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts during his quarter finals match against Lorenzo Sonego of Italy on day seven of the Erste Bank Open tennis tournament at Wiener Stadthalle in Vienna, Austria. (Photo by Thomas Kronsteiner/Getty Images)

Despite being one of the most successful tennis players of all time, Novak Djokovic is not a favorite in the media. And his coach Goran Ivanisevic has come up with an explanation.

According to the Croatian coach, Djokovic’s outspoken persona does not fit in with the world, and that is why he is treated the way he is. While he believes that the Serb will soon become the greatest player of all time, statistically, he feels that many in the tennis world would not love that.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 11, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates with Goran Ivanisevic after winning his final match against Italy’s Matteo Berrettini REUTERS/Paul Childs

Furthermore, the former Wimbledon champion highlighted how Djokovic challenged and excelled both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. For him, these are the reasons why heavy criticism is sent his way in the Western media.


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Coach Goran Ivanisevic on media treatment against Novak Djokovic

It is not a secret that Djokovic does have his ideas about improving the sport and welfare of fellow athletes. However, more than usual, it receives backlash from the media.

“It seems to me that today it is not desirable to have your own opinion. The world should go for the better, but we are going in the opposite direction. If in the 21st century you can’t say what you think, it’s a disaster. Novak doesn’t fit into that Western a mold in which everything is arranged,” Ivanisevic said

“He came from the Balkans where nothing is arranged and conquered them all. He killed everything they have done so far and became the best tennis player of all time. It will soon be statistically proven, and of course, many do not they love.” (Translated via Google Translate)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 30: (L-R) Marian Vajda, Goran Ivanisevic and Novak Djokovic of Serbia look on during a practice session ahead of The Championships – Wimbledon 2019 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 30, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Watch this story: A Look Inside Novak Djokovic’s $10 Million Mansion in Spain


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Despite the criticism, Djokovic continues on his path to making history in the sport. He has now equaled Federer and Nadal‘s joint record of 20 Grand Slams.

Interestingly, the Serbian World No.1 now has the opportunity to complete the Calendar Slam at the US Open 2021. If he wins, he will become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to achieve this feat.

For now, Djokovic has withdrawn from the ongoing Rogers Cup and the upcoming Cincinnati Masters. After this break, he would begin his preparations for the final annual Grand Slam of the year.


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Purav Joshi

1357 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.