“He’s Not Rafa, He’s Not Roger”: Former WTA Star Defends Novak Djokovic’s On-Court Outbursts

Published 08/23/2021, 4:30 PM EDT
Novak Djokovic of Serbia, Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerlan wait to go on stage during the ATP Heritage Celebration at The Waldorf=Astoria on in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)


Novak Djokovic received a reality check at the Tokyo Olympics after losing the semifinal and bronze medal match. After winning three Grand Slams in a row, he took a break from Tennis after the Olympics in order to prepare for the US Open. Slovak national, Daniela Hantuchova has however backed the Serb to win the US Open this time.

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Daniela Hantuchova is a former Slovak tennis player who retired in 2017. She won numerous Grand Slams in the mixed doubles category.

Daniela Hantuchova retires from professional tennis during the Wimbledon 2017

This is his personality: Daniela on Novak Djokovic being different from Federer and Nadal

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Novak Djokovic is on the verge of creating history and winning his 21st Grand Slam title. He is currently tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on 20 titles each. However, Djokovic is having the time of his life this year and seems to be unstoppable. His loss at the Olympics gave him an extra bit of motivation to finish the season on a winning note.

This is his personality, he’s not Rafa, he’s not Roger. It shows how much he cares and how competitive he is. I think it’s good that all three are so different in so many ways and it allows us to enjoy what they have done over the last 20 years for our game,” said Daniella in an interview with Tennis365.

The GOAT debate still remains to be answered, however many have accepted the faint reality. Djokovic’s numbers and records speak for themselves and he does not look like he will stop any time soon.

Watch This Story: How Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, and Others Travel

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 22: Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates winning a point in his fourth round match against Hyeon Chung of South Korea on day eight of the 2018 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 22, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Daniela on Djokovic’s loss in Tokyo

All athletes are vulnerable under pressure and can crack under it as well. Djokovic’s loss in Tokyo was the result of many things, especially the pressure of winning the gold as the World No.1. However, he could not convert his form on court in Tokyo and lost two consecutive matches.

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I feel losing in Tokyo could be good for him because he is always good at reacting to a setback and everything is lined up for him to do it, but we have seen with Serena Williams that the pressure can be difficult when you are so close to something so special,” said Daniela.

“He will face pressure trying to do something so special, but this is when he feels the most comfortable for me, when he has pressure,” said Daniela.

Novak Djokovic is the world’s number one tennis player. He will love to face a pressure situation in his final Grand Slam event of the year. However, he has many talented players to face on his path to glory at the US Open.

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Can Djokovic complete the calendar Grand Slam?

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Suchit Halder

270 articles

Suchit Halder is a Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Management Studies from St Xavier's College, Mumbai. With a keen interest in writing and sports, Suchit has previously worked as a content writer at Football Counter and worked with the content team for Delhi Capitals during IPL 2021.

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