“It’s a Shame”: Renowned Journalist Reiterates Excessive Criticism of Novak Djokovic Unlike Federer and Nadal

Published 03/01/2021, 5:00 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 16, 2021 Serbian’s Novak Djokovic during his quarter final match against Germany’s Alexander Zverev REUTERS/Loren Elliott


Novak Djokovic has been one of the most dominant forces in tennis for the last 10 years. But even then, the media and certain members of the tennis fraternity habitually resort to subjecting him to extreme criticism, often over negligible topics.

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Most recently, the Serbian ace had participated in the Australian Open 2021. Consequently, he was caught up in controversies immediately for weeks after that.

One of these was over a misunderstood list of demands while another controversy saw a lot of people calling his abdominal injury fake. While the 33-year-old tried to explain himself, nothing he said was helping much.

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To understand this situation better, tennis historian and author Steve Flink reiterated his stand on the Serbian.

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Novak Djokovic, 33, won the Australian Open for a record-extending ninth time and now has 18 Grand Slams on the whole. Even after this achievement, the American reporter claimed that Djokovic is not treated as fairly as the others.

Tennis – Australian Open – Men’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates with the trophy after winning his final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Flink said, “It really baffles me that this goes on and on with the excessive criticism of him… The scrutiny that he gets is not extended to Nadal and Federer and other players, they get the benefit of the doubt.”Moreover, the American gave the example of Rafael Nadal and his back injury. The Spaniard has been suffering from a back injury, due to which he couldn’t play the ATP Cup.

“Did you hear anybody saying after the first four rounds ‘what’s all this nonsense with Rafa’s back?’ And no, and they shouldn’t be saying it. But the skepticism doesn’t extend to these other guys,” Flink added.

Flink couldn’t help but feel for the Serbian ace. “I think it’s a sad thing for Novak,” he said.

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Post the Australian Open triumph, the doctors revealed that Djokovic did have a tear in his muscle. Djokovic even said that he would release a documentary of his tournament struggles.

Tennis – Australian Open – Men’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 21, 2021, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Flink, who has been part of the sport for almost 50 years, has seen the Serbian develop from the base level. And in his eyes, one of the best tennis athletes at present.

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“What he’s been in the last ten years is nothing short of the ultimate professional… It’s a shame that people will never seem to cut him any slack,” Steve concluded.

Djokovic will reunite with Roger Federer and Nadal at Miami Open 2021. If he recovers in time, he might snatch the title away from the Swiss maestro.

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Purav Joshi

602 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.

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