"I understand that some people just like me less" - Novak Djokovic urges media to show respect and stay away from 'one-dimensional narrative'

Novak Djokovic speaks about his views on
Novak Djokovic speaks about his views on 'fair reporting' and his equation with the media.

Novak Djokovic shared his views on reporting on tennis and the role played by the media, calling for more objectivity when opinions about himself and fellow players are conveyed. More than aware that he cannot be liked by everyone, the Serbian tennis great said that his only demand is for mediapeople to show respect.

No stranger to controversies, Djokovic has been involved in a few of them at the ongoing Australian Open as well, be it the talk of his hamstring injury or a big one involving the media itself when he strongly came out in his own defense after being accused of defying the chair umpire's orders in his first-round match.

With the rollercoaster ride that has been the Serb's hamstring injury throughout the tournament so far, he even recently lamented that only his injuries are in doubt after he was accused of 'faking' a hamstring injury at the Australian Open.

Shedding light on the aspect and 'media narratives' and how it has affected him, Djokovic, who moved into the 2023 Australian Open semifinals on Wednesday with a straight-sets win over Andrey Rublev, opined that "fair reporting is relative."

"It's all relative. Fair reporting, maybe your opinion and my opinion is two different things," Novak Djokovic said in a press conference after the quarter-final victory.

Having said that, the 21-time Grand Slam champion suggested that his only request from the media is to show him respect and not indulge in pushing a one-dimensional narrative that does not take into account both sides of the story.

The nine-time Australian Open champion went on to say that he would like to see greater objectivity in media reporting, not only when the reporting is about him, but other players too.

"I think what I personally like to see is just respect and not one-dimensional narrative that is focused only on one side of the story and keeps going for a while writing that story in that direction," the Serb added.
"I like to see when someone is taking a different perspective, understanding if writing about me or any other athlete or character, understanding where he comes from, trying to be a bit more objective. I mean, that's something I like to see."

Maintaining that he values getting basic respect above all else, the 35-year-old also admitted that bias always exists and that there are those who like him and also a fair share of people who dislike him.

"I understand that there are some people that just are maybe biased, they maybe like me more, like me less. That's it. It's really hard to kind of define that in a simple term," the Belgrade native expressed.

"We are all part of the same team" - Novak Djokovic showers praise on the media

Novak Djokovic has had a bitter-sweet relationship with the media during the 2023 Australian Open.
Novak Djokovic has had a bitter-sweet relationship with the media during the 2023 Australian Open.

Novak Djokovic further declared that he holds the media and its professionals in high regard. He stated that without the media, tennis would not be as global and popular a sport as it is, and with that purpose in mind, the Serbian great believes that he and the media are "part of the same team" that loves the sport.

"I respect your profession and I understand that without you guys and without media, our sport would not be as it is, as global and popular," the Serb confessed.
"So I think we are all part of the same team. In the end of the day, we're all part of this wonderful sport that I feel like we all love and we live out of."

Bidding for his 10th Australian Open title and becoming just the second man after his great rival Rafael Nadal to win at least 10 singles titles in one Grand Slam event, Djokovic is also one step closer to equaling Nadal's all-time record of 22 Grand Slam men's singles titles. He faces American Tommy Paul in the semifinals on Friday.

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Edited by Aayush Majumdar
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