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Why does Novak Djokovic deserve more respect than he gets?
Jul 13, 2022, 7:00:00 AM

Why does Novak Djokovic deserve more respect than he gets?

Wimbledon 2022 is over and in Men’s single, Novak Djokovic has again declared his supremacy. Novak Djokovic, the seven-time Wimbledon winner, has done it again and he defeated Australia’s Nick Kyrgios by 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6. Both the players had a great outing at the centre court on Sunday and they both played their best game in the Wimbledon finals. This is Novak’s 21st Grand Slam and now he has beaten the tennis legend Rodger Federer who is currently at 20 Grand Slams. All said and done, it is time that Novak Djokovic should be given the respect that he deserves in the world of tennis and whenever he is on the court, none of us should doubt his skills and his talent.

Nick Kyrgios rightly said during the post-match presentation that Novak Djokovic is difficult to beat and he has become a God in the sport. All too often, Djokovic’s brilliance on the court is diluted by critics who suggest he will never attract the popularity of his great rivals Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal, but does that matter? All three legends have a different style of play and they all are known for their achievements on the court. It is about time the critics should stop comparing Novak with Rafael Nadal and Rodger Federer.

Novak Djokovic, the modern legend of tennis and a grass-court expert, has a wonderful outing on Sunday against Nick Kyrgios. There were interruptions and moments where any player could have lost his focus on the game. However, Novak was under the control of his emotions and maintained the momentum of his pace. After losing the first set by 4-6, Djokovic took some time to recover and as the second set began, the momentum of the game started to change.

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The Australian Open Controversy

After the Wimbledon win in 2021, Novak was in the headlines again because of his game in the tournament. Novak was at the number 1 spot and he was looking forward to the upcoming Australian Open in January 2022. There is a moment in every sportsmen’s life when he has to take a stand on his beliefs and his principles. We have seen in the past sportsmen from across the globe in different fields.

In January 2022, Novak Djokovic was in a similar situation. Djokovic was set to begin his 2022 season by participating in the ATP Cup in Sydney but pulled out. To play at the Australian Open, where he was a three-time defending champion, the Victorian Government required all players to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or have a medical exemption. Djokovic was one of "a handful" of players and staff to be granted a medical exemption by Tennis Australia and the Department of Health in Victoria. It was later revealed that Djokovic tested positive for COVID-19 on 16 December 2021 which was used as the basis for his exemption. Djokovic had been granted a visa to enter Australia and he travelled to Melbourne on 5 January but was detained by the Australian Border Force after they determined he did not meet the entry requirements for an unvaccinated traveller. In an interview with BCC in February, Novak stated that he is willing to forego career records by sticking to his principles of free choice and not having the COVID-19 vaccine. This was a true representation of a champion and someone who stands strong with his beliefs.

Seven Wimbledon titles and 21 Grand Slams

For more than a decade, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Noval Djokovic have ruled the world of Tennis. After Novak’s seventh Wimbledon win, he has now 21 Grand Slams and he is catching up with Rafael Nadal. The second player to have the highest number of grand slams and Wimbledon trophies. Novak’s credentials are strong and the time has come that the media and Tennis fans should give him the same amount of respect as his peers receive when they walk on the court during the tournament.

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Words: Shimit Mathur

Image: PA