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The Unfair Criticism of Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic US Open

This week we witnessed continued unfair criticism of Novak Djokovic. Another chapter full of nonsense from those who like to criticize everything Djokovic says or does.

It seems they are waiting for World #1 to do something to seize their moment and keep vilifying Djokovic. This time, the Australian Open quarantine conditions were the trigger of everything.

The List of Djokovic’s Suggestions

Some media took the opportunity to hit Djokovic again. Headlines said that Djokovic’s letter was a list of demands to “ease” the quarantine. Those demands that turned out to be “suggestions” in the words of Australian Open director Craig Tiley.

Some of his detractors also took the opportunity to remember the controversial Adria Tour and his supposed anti-vaccine thinking. Any excuse is good to bring out the Serbian’s mistakes or some of his non-popular thinking. Surely, most of us do not share some of these ideas but that does not mean that we should not respect them.

The Content Of The List

Some people criticized Djokovic because he was being “selfish” and his proposals were dangerous for people’s health due to the pandemic situation in Australia.

This is the list of suggestions from the Serbian:

  • Fitness and training material in all rooms
  • Better food for elite athletes, following players taking aim at the meals on offer
  • Reduce the days of isolation for players in hard quarantine and carry out more tests to confirm they are negative
  • Permission to visit your coach or physical trainer, as long as both have passed the tests
  • Grant both the player and coach permission to be on the same floor of the hotel.
  • Move as many players as possible to private houses with a tennis court to facilitate training (Private houses were also used ahead of the US Open)

After reading all the suggestions it is difficult to figure out what is the problem with that letter. Well, maybe the problem was that all those critics were limited to reading a headline and were not even interested in reading what he was suggesting.

The suggestions from that list that refer to quarantine relief always ask for tests to validate that they can be implemented. At no point is anything out of the ordinary being proposed.

It is completely understandable that people can be more sensitive to this topic due to the pandemic situation. However, it’s obvious that Djokovic’s intention was not to demand that the health authorities lower the measures for tennis players. That would be inconceivable.

It was only a list of suggestions that if deemed inappropriate should not be applied. In fact, that was the answer from Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.

Kyrgios and The Unfair Criticism Towards Djokovic

Despite the fact that Djokovic’s intention was for all tennis players to be on an equal footing, his detractors were quick to come out to criticize him.

One of the fiercest critics came from Nick Kyrgios, the man who only knows how to boast of his two victories against the Serbian. However, he always forgets a detail. His two victories against Djokovic were in the Serbian’s worst recent year, 2017. Back then, Djokovic had problems in his right elbow that forced him to finish the season early.

The Australian tennis player said that Djokovic was a :tool” on Twitter:

Other personalities took advantage to remember Djokovic’s mistake with the organization of the Adria Tour to discredit the World #1.

No matter if the Serbian’s suggestions were reasonable or not. For some people, it seems that Djokovic cannot give his opinion anymore because he made a mistake once.

The Answer From Djokovic

Novak Djokovic decided to write an open letter that he shared on different social media platforms to address those unfair critics.

In this letter, the Serbian makes it clear that his intentions were always to help his fellows. It would be more comfortable for Djokovic to do nothing and see things from his privileged position. However, he often tries to change things, despite it sometimes causing nothing more than headaches.

Some people should do a reflective exercise before going out to criticize Djokovic for everything he does. They should think about whether writing that letter was really a selfish act. Let’s not forget that Djokovic is quarantined in Adelaide, not Melbourne, where he already has some of the privileges he was suggesting to Craig Tiley.

Main Photo from Getty.


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