'I Know Not Everyone Will Like Me': Djokovic On Facing Hostile Crowds

'I Know Not Everyone Will Like Me': Djokovic On Facing Hostile Crowds

by Zachary Wimer

Novak Djokovic has never been the most popular player on the ATP Tour, but it's something he expected and, with time, gotten used to.

It's impossible to be a person who everybody likes, even though Roger Federer came really close. The level of respect he commands both in tennis and outside of tennis circles is purely amazing, but even, as beloved as he is, he was never liked by everyone.

Initially, it was Rafael Nadal's fans, and then it was Djokovic's fans. The Serbian, on the other hand, was never hugely beloved, certainly not when he came into the sport.

Even so, he's slowly getting more love as his retirement gets closer. His career is too legendary not to command admiration from both those who love him and those who don't like him very much.

After so many years of people not showering him with affection, Djokovic inevitably got used to it. He spoke to Nick Kyrgios about what it feels like always having to face the crowd on top of the opponent.

"I don’t know, it really depends. People think that I really thrive on that energy when somebody doesn’t like me or I’m facing adversity on and off the court. Sometimes I do because that’s the only thing I have in that moment. I have to find a solution."

"I have to find a way to win a tennis match and be who I am, be true to myself. I know that not everyone will like me. I know that people of course have their favourite players or maybe they want an underdog to win and things like that happen."

Djokovic has been around for a long time, so he's basically seen it all. He's seen crowds firmly against him, and for him. Ultimately, it's about dealing with it in the moment. It will never be 100% on one or the other side.

"I’ve been on the tour for so long and I’ve experienced some great atmospheres in my favor and great atmospheres against me. But I think in the end of the day, you really have to understand the moment, understand how you’re feeling because you’re not going to feel the same every single day."


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