“Painful to Watch”: Former British Star Hurt by Lack of Respect Shown to Novak Djokovic

Published 08/25/2021, 1:05 PM EDT
TOKYO, JAPAN – JULY 31: Novak Djokovic of Team Serbia looks on during his Men’s Singles Bronze Medal match against Pablo Carreno Busta of Team Spain on day eight of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Tennis Park on July 31, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Amin Mohammad Jamali/Getty Images)


Novak Djokovic will begin his historic bid for a Calendar Grand Slam at the US Open 2021. After a phenomenal outing this year, he will be hoping to finish on the ultimate high. In spite of all his achievements, the Serbian has always had a group of critics ready to pounce on him. It can be argued that he is not as big a fan-favorite as his two biggest rivals – Federer and Nadal. Yet, Djokovic’s unparalleled mental strength has carried him throughout his career.

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 12: Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates winning a point during his final singles match against Rafael Nadal of Spain during day 10 of the ATP Cup at Ken Rosewall Arena on January 12, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Whenever the 34-year-old comes up against one of his arch rivals, his fans seem to be outnumbered. The Serb has self-admittedly been incredibly grateful for the love and adulation he has received over the years. Yet, more often than not it is seen that the World No.1 battles both his opponent and the crowd to get over the line. Speaking about the undue hatred thrown upon Novak Djokovic, former British No.1 Annabel Croft had a lot to say.

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Croft feels Novak Djokovic ‘deserves’ more love

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In a recent interview with Tennis365, Annabel Croft gave her view on the lack of respect for the 20-time major winning Serbian. The analyst said, “It has been painful to watch at times and I remember being at the US Open 2015 when Novak was playing Federer and the entire crowd seemed to be against him.”

She also analyzed the sheer extent to which Djokovic’s records are overlooked, and he is still hated. “There was silence when he hit a winner and cheers when he missed, and the courage he showed to win that match was remarkable. I was court-side and couldn’t believe that there were 20,000 people baying for his blood and hoping he would lose. It was cruel in many ways,” she admitted. “I really hope he eventually gets the adulation and love that he is deserving of given his achievements in the game.”

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What do you think about the situation with Djokovic and the crowds? Do you feel he is frowned upon too much, and deserves more respect?

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

228 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is a tennis and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, football, and table tennis. Apart from his professional desires, Sankalp does voluntary service with his friends to feed hungry animals on a regular basis.

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