2-Time Grand Slam Champion Explains Why Novak Djokovic ‘Needs to be Loved’ as Federer and Nadal Are

Published 11/26/2020, 5:04 AM EST
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic during his group stage match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev REUTERS/Toby Melville


A recent debate broke out over whether to change the format of the Slam to three-setters or not. It got very heated after World No. 1 Novak Djokovic said that he would be happy if the Grand Slams would also follow the ‘best of the three’ match format like the other tournaments. However, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem disagreed with him as they argued that it would not be fair to change history.

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Recently, former 2-time Grand Slam champion Henri Leconte spoke on the issue. Although he believed that tennis needed to evolve, he said that the Slams should stick to their original format of five-setters.

Novak started this because he is getting a little older…,” began Leconte jokingly. “I think that today, what is interesting is to bring new things. Grand Slams, I don’t think that’s the right solution but to evolve yes! We saw it with the tie-break. Change to two winning sets, no! I don’t think so!

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(Quotes have been translated)

It is pretty clear that Leconte was is not in favor of changing the format of the Slams in any manner. He even took a dig at Djokovic and said that he was probably arguing for three-setters as he was turning old now.

“He’s clumsy”- Henri Leconte on Novak Djokovic

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his group stage match against Germany’s Alexander Zverev Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

The former French player also said that according to him, Djoker was a clumsy guy. However, he also admitted that he was a generous person which added extra charm to his personality.

“Sometimes you can’t talk about demons but there are things that stand out and he’s clumsy. But he is also someone of incredible generosity. When you see what he does for children in Serbia or for his foundation. This is what makes its charm too,” added Leconte.

Leconte acknowledged the noble deeds that Djokovic has done so far. He also highlighted that the Serbian was one of the few players who always wanted to innovate and improve. “We are lucky to have 3 exceptional players and others. We said ‘they are all the same, not able to say certain things’, there they do. Novak is someone who wants to innovate,” continued the 57-year-old.

Leconte feels that Djokovic is not as famous as Federer or Rafa

Novak Djokovic of Serbia, Rafael Nadal of Spain, and Roger Federer of Switzerland wait to go on stage during the ATP Heritage Celebration at The Waldorf=Astoria in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Although Leconte believed that all the ‘Big Three’ were at the same level, he said that he didn’t feel like Djokovic enjoyed the same fame as Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer. He emphasized that Novak was a player who needed love.

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“Novak is a person who needs to be loved. He does not have as much “notoriety” as a Rafael Nadal or a Roger Federer. Novak is always looking for that little extra for his two companions. He wants to be different and he is different, he does not have the same thinking and the same vision,” concluded the Frenchman.

Fans will be delighted to see Djokovic finish the 2020 tennis season as the World No. 1. They will hope to see him play with the same intensity and consistency in the upcoming season as well.

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Anshul Singh

1270 articles

Anshul Singh is a tennis author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing Journalism Honors from Delhi University. Having significant experience with content, Anshul has authored over 500 tennis articles. He has previously worked as a writer and an editor for DU Express, penning riveting articles on sports, politics, and culture.

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