Why Do Some Fans Hate Novak Djokovic?

Novak Djokovic, president of the ATP Council

People Hating Djokovic: The New Trend

It seems that many people in the world of tennis hate Novak Djokovic, who will be harshly criticized for whatever he does or whatever he says from now on. And this new villain is Novak Djokovic, the current World #1.

It wasn’t enough with Nick Kyrgios. You know, he is badass but still not relevant to the tennis world. He can entertain or annoy some people with his crazy moments but nothing more than that. Therefore, Novak Djokovic has turned into the best contender for that villain role.

Djokovic is challenging the “Fedal” (Federer and Nadal) dominance in tennis history, which is a remarkable reason to hate him. Probably the biggest one. And now the slightest mistake or misfortune can turn into a new reason to hate the Serbian. No matter if he had no bad intentions when he committed the mistake. If Djokovic makes an error, these people need to punish him.

Let’s review all the reasons that some people have to criticize every single action or every word that comes out of his mouth.

Six Reasons to Hate Djokovic

Breaking Rackets

First of all, he broke some rackets when he got angry during his past matches. It doesn’t matter if Roger Federer also broke some rackets in his early years; what matters is that Novak Djokovic broke more of them.

Yes, this is not an exemplary behavior and Djokovic himself has admitted it several times in his press conferences. He is not proud of that behavior when he is within the court. But is he the evil for doing that? Does tennis rackets have feelings? What bothers people so much about breaking a racket? Every time Djokovic breaks a racket, some media make sure that everybody knows that. But he is not the only one breaking a racket and he won’t be. This is not a justification of that actions but let’s give that act the importance that it deserves. Nothing else.

Screaming in Serbian

The second reason to hate Novak Djokovic is his screams within the court. He has a strong character and thanks to that character he can overcome the challenges that he faces in every match. The “Serbian” words he shouts out during his matches seem to bother many people. Nobody understands one single word of what he is saying but that doesn’t matter either, he is not acting so calm and polite as some people want him to act.

Please, guys, forgive him for not being a robot without any emotion. He is a human, and he needs to scream in some moments of the match to release all his nerves. Have you ever played tennis? This is a wonderful sport but it is also a sport that can drive you crazy. Tell that to John McEnroe. But as he is McEnroe and he is so funny, no matter what he can yell to the umpire people won’t hate him for it.

Adria Tour Controversy. The Main Reason to Hate Djokovic?

But let’s go to concrete events. Unfortunately, this year 2020 has been a hard year for many people due to the coronavirus. The world of tennis was also affected by that and all tournaments were delayed or canceled. During this period of time, Djokovic donated money to some charitable causes related to raising funds to battle this virus. In this sense, he donated money to fight the virus in countries like Serbia, Italy, and Spain.

No one is saying that he is the best man on earth for making those donations but he wasn’t obligated to do that. He donated a huge amount of money to beat this virus and those actions are what defines a human being, not breaking a racket or shouting during a tennis match.

Can we please look at things with some perspective and judge people for what matters? Not for minor things.

An event without protocols against Covid-19

But well, then we had that Adria Tour, an event created by Novak Djokovic and his organization. The first tennis tournament after the coronavirus shutdown. And being the first is always riskier.

This is probably one of the main reasons why people hate Djokovic because there was no protocol against the virus in that tournament. That was a huge mistake. No one can justify him for what was a clear error that he could avoid being more responsible. But he didn’t create that event with bad intentions. He was trying to raise more funds for National Federations and Covid-19 relief funds. Besides that, the Serbian authorities admitted that there was no established protocol for such an event back then in Serbia. The virus wasn’t so extended in East Europe during that time as it was in the second wave. However, Djokovic apologized publicly for all the damages he could have provoked, which is what he needed to do.

It is quite evident that he was irresponsible but he hadn’t bad intentions. He was trying to help with that event and finally, all went wrong due to really bad execution. Each one can see it the way he wants but that failure doesn’t make him a bad person.

US Open 2020 Disqualification

Let’s continue with the list. Next stop, US Open 2020. Definitely, this was not his year. As we all know he hit a line judge during his match against Pablo Carreño in the quarterfinals when the Serbian was losing his nerves as the match went on. He was very unhinged with his game and he had already thrown a ball to nowhere some games before. So, he was not showing his best attitude. And when he lost his serve, he threw the ball behind him, to the ball boys’ zone, with the bad luck of hitting the line judge into the neck.

If you have seen the video you already know that he had no intentions of hitting anyone, for sure. He wasn’t even looking to where he was throwing that ball. But if you hadn’t seen the video, you could think that Djokovic is a bad guy. And some press headlines don’t help either since he accidentally hit another referee in his match against Karen Kachanov in the French Open, and some tabloid media limited themselves to headlining that Djokovic had hit a line judge again. If you watch the video of that action, you will just realize that it was an irrelevant situation during the match and there was no need to make an article of it. If not, you will probably be one of those people that hate Djokovic.

Irresponsible act without bad intentions

Again, he was wrong, and no one should pretend to justify him for that. If you throw a ball the way he did, without looking where are you pointing at, the possibility of hitting someone exists. And if you are not lucky you can hit that person in the wrong place and create a dangerous situation.

He was justly disqualified by the organization and he apologized publicly again for all damages he could have caused. What every normal person would have done in that situation.

But is he a bad person for doing that? Again, he had no bad intentions but he was irresponsible with his act. It’s understandable that some people could be mad at him, especially for the Adria Tour, but not for treating him as evil and criticize everything he does.

His Celebration

In relation to this unjustified hate from people to Djokovic, his celebration is now a source of critics from some tennis fans. His celebration consists of giving “love” to all spectators that came into the court to watch. He repeats the same gesture four times, one time for each zone of the stadium. But this simple gesture seems also to bother some people. Even when he is trying to show good manners and being grateful to those who came to the stadium to watch the show. In this sense, if you write “Djokovic celebration” in the Youtube searcher, the second option it suggests to you is “Djokovic celebration cringe”. Sometimes people can be unpleasant to someone without any reason.

His Support for Zverev

And finally, another reason why some people could hate Djokovic is his recent support for Alexander Zverev. Some critics are those who decide to judge someone before the court does, in reference to Alexander Zverev’s controversy related to his ex-girlfriend’s allegations of assault. This is not the place to talk about this kind of issue because we are here to talk about tennis. However, it seems that Djokovic, as a close friend of Zverev, showed his support to him in this particular topic some weeks ago. And that gesture was taken as bad behavior from some people that have already sentenced Zverev.

Let’s make it clear, the purpose of this article is not to defend Zverev because we don’t know anything about this particular issue with his ex-girlfriend, but it’s not fair to judge anyone before a magistrate does it first. Basically, because the judge is the only one that can assess the matter from a complete view, knowing all the versions and proofs.

But it seems some people don’t think like that, so they haven’t missed the chance to criticize Novak again for his support to Zverev, despite the Serbian also supported domestic violence policy in tennis.

Novak Djokovic: Not too bad

To conclude with this article, let’s say that the pretension is not to present Djokovic as a victim or as a perfect guy. Probably he is not such an exemplary figure for the public as Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer, but he seems to be a great human being that is trying to help other people from a privileged position.

Despite committing many errors this year, there were no bad intentions at all and people should not hate Djokovic valuing only his mistakes, but also his good deeds. As that hilarious Italian reporter from the 2018 Australian Open, Ubaldo Scanagatta would say: Not too bad!

Thus, do not turn the world of tennis into a constant fight between the good and the bad ones. Let’s admire Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic as the great athletes they are and we all will enjoy this sport more. The Big 3 is a gift to the world of tennis, so let’s appreciate that gift as long as it lasts.

Main Photo from Getty.


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