Despite being one of the greatest players of all time, Novak Djokovic mostly finds the crowd backing his opponent on the court. Unlike his two biggest adversaries, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who receive the love and adulation of fans all across the world, Djokovic is loved way less by comparison.
Recently, when the top-ranked American, John Isner, withdrew from the upcoming Australian Open, he received a host of hateful messages on Twitter for deciding to pull out. Isner backed out of the Australian Open because of the strict quarantine protocols which would have meant staying away from his family for long. The American hit back with a tweet about receiving toxic messages from some hateful tennis fans on Twitter.
“Man, there are some really hateful tennis fans on Twitter. Toxic stuff. Be happy, people!” tweeted Isner.
Interestingly, a Djokovic fan replied to Isner’s post by tweeting about the way journalists and tennis fans treat the Serbian. Going by the handle ‘Novak Fan England’, the fan tweeted, “Hateful journalists too. Have you seen the way they treat Novak? They are really toxic”.
After reading the reply, Isner immediately replied by tweeting “Yep”, acknowledging the statement of Djokovic’s fan.
Last year, the 17-time Grand Slam champion received widespread criticism when he organized the Adria Tour, which went against social-distancing measures. The move resulted in many top players contracting the coronavirus, including Djokovic and his wife Jelena.
A few months after the Adria Tour incident, Djokovic resigned as the president of the ATP Council and formed his own player’s association. His decision divided the tennis world, with most of his big-rivals refusing to extend their support.
However, the biggest debacle happened at the 2020 US Open when Djokovic accidentally smacked a ball at the line’s judge during his quarterfinal match, which led to his disqualification. Former players and tennis fans condemned Djokovic’s unruly behavior, and it was probably the lowest point in his career.