Novak Djokovic appears to have given up chasing the one prize he will never win in tennis

Jannik Sinner’s coronation as the winner of this year’s ATP Fans’ Favourite Award appeared to cement the belief that the most successful play of all-time will never claim this prize.

Novak Djokovic continues to silence his doubters

The true scale of Novak Djokovic’s global popularity has been the subject of much discussion throughout his career and when you dare to suggest the Serbian champion lacks support from tennis fans around the world, his loyal band of followers are quick to dispute that narrative.

Yet this was a year when Djokovic could and should have been a strong contender for the ATP Fans’ Favourite Award.

Roger Federer won this award for 19 successive years and his popularity with tennis fans didn’t wane at any point throughout his career.

When Federer retired from tennis in 2022, his great friend and rival Rafael Nadal collected the Fans’ Favourite prize, amid much grumbling from Djokovic dans once again on social media platforms.

Yet while there is no doubt that this current year has belonged to Djokovic on the court, he didn’t appear to be in the mix to finally banish the notion that he is not popular with the tennis audience as Sinner claimed the Fans’ Favourite award for the first time.

There is no doubt that the 22-year-old Italian was one of the stand-out stories of the tennis season, with Sinner claiming a maiden ATP 1000 title, reaching the semi-finals at Wimbledon, shining the ATP Finals in Turin and leading Italy to Davis Cup glory in his final match of the year.

Carlos Alcaraz may also have been in the mix for this ATP award after a season that saw him clinch a maiden Wimbledon title and enjoy some time at the top of the world rankings.
Yet Djokovic doesn’t appear to be a contender for this kind of award after a year that has seen him clash consistently with spectators during his matches.

The 24-time Grand Slam champion appeared to inspire himself by feeding off the negativity flowing his way, with his habit of cupping his finger to his ear after winning a crucial point his new way of responding to his critics.

He criticised French Open crowds in June for a lack of respect as he was jeered during his win against Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and had to deal with more negativity from Wimbledon crowds a few weeks later.

Djokovic then conducted the crowd as they booed him at the ATP Finals and clash with British fans at the Davis Cup Finals in Malaga, as he urged them to “shut up and show some respect” in a feisty on-court interview.

“The amount of pressure and stress is so much higher if you have the crowd against you,” he said in his interview with 60 Minutes that was aired last Sunday.

“For most of my career, it was mostly hostile environments for me. I kind of learned how to thrive in that environment.

“Some people think that it’s actually better if they don’t like me so that it kind of gets the best out of me in terms of tennis. It did happen. But at the same time, I actually enjoy more being in an environment where, you know, I have nice, nice support.”

Djokovic was reduced to tears as he was given a huge ovation by the New York crowd after he lost the 2021 US Open Final against Daniil Medvedev and openly admitted after that match that he was touched by the reception he received.

“Even though I have not won the match, my heart is filled with joy and I am the happiest man alive because you guys made me feel very special on the court. You guys touched my soul,” he told the New York crowd.

“I felt something I never felt in my life here in New York. The crowd made me very special. They pleasantly surprised me.

“I did not expect anything, but the amount of support and energy and love I got from the crowd was something that I’ll remember forever. I felt very, very special. They touched my heart, honestly.”

His status as the greatest tennis player of them all will be ample compensation for Djokovic when he reflects on his career, but the affection an athlete of his calibre might expect to attract from ennis lovers outside of his own loyal fanbase continues to elude.

After a year when Djokovic appeared to give on on trying to appease his critics and opted to take them on with his gesture on court, it may be that this great champion has decided he doesn’t need to continue a charm offensive in what may be a losing battle.

Related Posts

“I Wanna Talk to My New Teammate”: Anthony Davis Shrugs Off LeBron James Away as He Expresses Excitement to Team Up With Bronny James

Anthony Davis, LeBron James and Bronny James ( Image source: Getty Images) Anthony Davis and LeBron James have shared the basketball court for the Los Angeles Lakers for several years….

“We Love to Play the Game”- LeBron James Praises Steph Curry’s Unbelievable Lob Which Led to His Spectacular Dunk

LeBron James dunks after getting an alley-oop pass from Stephen Curry (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) LeBron James and Stephen Curry created the spark on Wednesday night that the basketball…

Love Island’s Maya Jama turns heads in red latex outfit branded her sexiest yet

Love Island star Maya Jama was back in the Casa Amor villa in a revealing red latex outfit which sent social media into meltdown more than the…

The Most Unexpected Source Just Gave a Glimpse Into What Taylor Swift Might Be Like as a Mom

Before we get into this, let us just say that Taylor Swift might choose to not be a mother. And that is A-OH-FREAKIN-KAY. (Despite what her boyfriend’s teammate…

Rihanna rocks leggy red dress during Mother’s Day date in NYC with babydaddy A$AP Rocky

A$AP Rocky took his famous babymama Rihanna on a romantic Mother’s Day dinner date to the Roxy Bar in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood on Sunday night.And while there’s been no news…

Justin Bieber pays tribute after ex-roommate Chris King shot dead in Nashville at 32

Justin Bieber pays tribute after ex-roommate Chris King shot dead in Nashville at 32   Justin Bieber has paid heartfelt tribute to his former roommate, rapper Chris King, who…