Serbia journalist Sasa Ozmo, who is considered to be quite close to Novak Djokovic, believes that the World No. 1 is not accorded the respect he deserves from the international media. Ozmo also stated that several Djokovic fans believe he was treated unfairly by the US Open this year and that he didn't deserve to be defaulted from the tournament.
"Many feel that he has been disadvantaged. To understand that, you have to see the big picture," Ozmo told Tages-Anzeiger Sport. "How Novak is treated by the international media and sometimes by the Grand Slams does not correspond with what he has achieved in his career."
He backed that assertion with an example from the French Open last year, when Federer smashed a ball out of the stadium after losing a point. However, Ozmo also said he believes the Serb's disqualification was fair.
"A scene suddenly occurs to me: Roger Federer slammed against Rafael in the Paris semifinals last year, almost got the ball out of rage from the stadium," he said. "The spectators in the first rows were shocked because at first, they thought he was shooting at them. But Federer didn't have to answer a question about it in the press conference."
"Had Novak done that, it would only have been talked about. Everything he does is always viewed critically," Ozmo added. "That is why many in Serbia have the feeling that he has now been disadvantaged at the US Open. But anyone who takes a closer look at tennis knows that it was a disqualification. No question."
Being liked less than Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal affected Novak Djokovic early in his career: Sasa Ozmo
The general perception in today's tennis community is that Novak Djokovic is not loved by fans in the same way as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. It is believed that while the neutral fans begrudgingly respect the Serb for his astounding achievements, they don't root for him like they do for the other two.
Novak Djokovic was affected by this early on in his career according to Ozmo, but the Serb has now found a way to survive and even thrive amid minimal support.
"I think it bothered him even more in the past," said the journalist. "Over time, he found a way to deal with it, even to use it to his advantage. We all know what the atmosphere was like at the 2015 US Open or at Wimbledon 2019 against Federer."
"I think that when the game is over he would of course have liked more people to support him," Ozmo went on. "But during the game, that only makes him more determined. If he is in mode of 'me against the world', he is very difficult to beat."Published 11 Sep 2020, 00:51 IST