Novak Djokovic had only a short time to worry about his re-entry into the Wimbledon final. In the second set of the semi-final, Roberto Bautista Agut took control. However, when the Spaniard turned his first set ball, he had luck: his ball dripped from the edge of the net unreachable in Djokovic half. A jubilation storm swept across the center court – and the favorite reacted noticeably hurt: Ironically, Djokovic animated the audience to continue to applaud.
Following a net scooter, the tennis audience generally stays behind. But in this case, it jumped with joy. If Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal had been in Djokovic's position, the reaction would probably have been more subdued. It is still hard for the Serb to conquer the hearts of the public. Even four titles in Wimbledon could not change that.
For years, it has been an open secret that the world ranking first suffers from the lack of appreciation. Above all, that his two biggest adversaries, Federer and Nadal, are much easier to pull the audience onto their side. This was confirmed by Boris Becker.
“People do not see the big success”
In an interview on the edge of the Lawn Classic in London, the former Serbian coach said there was a time when he was “very disturbed”. As early as June, Becker had told the portal “Tennis-World”: “People do not see the great success he has, they only ask themselves: 'Can he break the Federer Grand Slam record'?”
The fact is: Djokovic – like Nadal and Federer – has millions of fans around the world. On Twitter and Instagram alone, around 14 million people follow him. That is less than Federer (19 million) and Nadal (23 million). Its popularity is still high worldwide. “He's the bad guy who did not do anything wrong,” said eight-time Grand Slam Champion John McEnroe during the 2015 US Open. There may be reasons for his difficulty.
In 2008, he delivered at the US Open with Andy Roddick in his home a verbal confrontation. The former champion had accused the Serbian of being treated too often during a match. Djokovic countered in the match and was booed by the spectators. Rumor has it that the two of them almost had a fight in the cabin.
Djokovic last in the criticism
Throughout his career, Djokovic has always had fun imitating competitors. The videos, which spread quickly across all channels, did not fare well everywhere. He was recently criticized for alleging a “friendly relationship” with the controversial and convicted ATP official Justin Gimelstob at a press conference.
Djokovic spends 80 percent of his time “destroying his opponents,” McEnroe said. The rest of the time he tries to win the love of the audience. That should be difficult in the final against Federer (15 clock, live ticker SPIEGEL ONLINE, TV Sky).
“It will not be the first time I've played against Federer or Nadal on Center Court, I've had that experience more than once, I know what to expect,” said Djokovic after his semi-final win.
Former Swiss tennis pro Claudio Mezzadri has recently been interviewed by the newspaper “Blick” said: “When the audience supports Liebler, Djokovic responds with annoyed gestures, and although he seeks the love of the fans, he is always frittered away,” said the former number 26 in the world.
Therefore, according to Mezzadri, the rivalry between them is always dominant. While in the duel between Nadal and Federer on the court next to all the intensity always a lot of respect and sympathy.