Novak Djokovic might not be the most popular player in the world, but he would be, according to Marion Bartoli, if he weren't Serbian.
Some markets are bigger while others are smaller, and while the United States can offer a huge market and popularity, Serbia can't do the same thing, and Novak Djokovic knows that very well. He even admitted that his nationality likely held him back in his career.
Former player Marion Bartoli agrees with that, as she explained in a recent interview with RMC. She speculated that if Djokovic were American, he'd have far more recognition in the world. The United States is a much larger country and market that obviously changes things.
Of course it’s not just the fact that he is Serbian. We know very well that if Novak was American, he'd have a statue in every city. The fact that he is Serbian means that he is not as publicized. Coming from a small European country, with a recent painful past, affects one's popularity rating.
Djokovic's nationality in fairness isn't the only thing that cost him popularity in the world. It's part of it, a huge part of it actually but his own personality cost him some fans as well. He's rather different compared to Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer and outspoken which a lot of fans are not fans of.
Some of his more controversial views certainly didn't do him any favours, but he's always prided himself on authenticity and stuck by it to this day. It's worked well for him in some ways but didn't in other ways. He's fine with it, judging by some of his interviews, and after all, he has the numbers.
Whether you like him or not, you can't deny his greatness, and after winning number 24 in New York, it's pretty hard to deny his status as the greatest tennis player to have ever lived.