Seven-time Grand slam champion John McEnrow has lashed out at people who don’t give Novak Djokovic the respect he deserves. Djokovic recently won his 6th Wimbledon title, which was his 20th Grand slam title. Thus, Djokovic equalled Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s tally of number of majors.
However, Djokovic has never received the respect that he has always deserved. There is no doubt that Federer and Nadal are loved much more as Djokovic has always been involved in some controversy or the other.
In fact, Djokovic also never receives the support from the crowd. It is well known that Nadal and Federer burst into the scene before Djokovic and that is why they are the crowd’s favorite. However, Djokovic has been involved in controversies like the Adria tour and US Open 2020 default.
But it should be noted that winning 20 slams is no mean feat. Moreover, Djokovic holds the record of spending most weeks at the number one rank in the ATP rankings while he has also won joint-most ATP 1000 titles.
McEnroe said while talking to BBC, “Grand Slam tennis is not a popularity contest,” McEnroe said. “Being that guy everyone loves, the one everyone wants to win, does not get you the ‘W’. And that’s what it’s all about.”
“That comes from supreme talent, multiplied by hard work, times infinity,” he added. “Hard work on every little thing – game, body, diet, mind. The complete package. It’s not a popularity contest.”
McEnroe added that Djokovic has worked hard for his wins and deserves all the credit for the work he has put on and off the court. Djokovic has worked a lot on his fitness as well as game and he has definitely reaped fruits for the same.
“They might think you’re cold, clinical, boring,” the 62-year-old said. “Hey, they might think you’re a brat. It doesn’t mean a thing. Because what they will give you every time you step onto court – is respect.””Respect (to Novak Djokovic) for always being there, for consistency,” McEnroe added.
“For ferociously, relentlessly pushing for victory. You can’t not respect a guy with 19 (now 20) Majors, who’s won every Slam at least twice. You can’t not respect a guy who’s lifted this thing (Wimbledon) five (now six) times, who’s done it in the greatest era of men’s tennis ever. Period. This is not a popularity contest.”