France's Jeremy Chardy recently gave his thoughts on a wide array of topics, including fan reactions to Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. During an interview with a local website, Chardy first laid out the rationale behind supporting both Federer and Nadal, before suggesting that it was very difficult to support all members of the 'Big 3'.
It was about 15 years ago that Rafael Nadal and then-World No. 1 Roger Federer established arguably the sport's most iconic rivalry of all time. The two legends became the most likable figures in tennis due to their success and personality, with their Wimbledon 2008 final widely considered the greatest match in history.
Novak Djokovic joined the conversation in 2011, challenging the hegemony of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal with his machine-like efficiency. But Djokovic has struggled to get the same kind of fan support that Federer and Nadal do, and many point to his late entry as a possible reason for that.
Conversely, a lot of Djokovic fans feel that the Serb is mistreated by the tennis community at large. And some of them react to that by displaying hostility towards the supposed beneficiaries of the biased system - Federer and Nadal.
Against that background, Jeremy Chardy claimed that it is "difficult" for a Novak Djokovic fan to also be a fan of Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal.
"I tend to say that one can 'like' Rafa and Roger almost at the same time," Chardy said. "(But) It is more difficult to like Federer or Nadal if one is a fan of Djokovic."
Chardy then illustrated his point by drawing a parallel between the Big 3 and "Le Classique", the fierce rivalry between French football clubs Paris Saint-Germain and Olympique de Marseille.
"It is so and there is nothing we can do about it," the Frenchman said. "It's like being a supporter of PSG and OM, it's simply impossible."
"Novak Djokovic is a huge champion, it is indisputable" - Jeremy Chardy
Jeremy Chardy, a former World No. 25, has not won a match against Novak Djokovic in 14 tour meetings. Not surprisingly, the Frenchman lavished praise on Djokovic's achievements, and claimed that the Serb's stature as a 'huge champion' was 'indisputable'.
"Novak Djokovic is a huge champion, it is indisputable," Jeremy Chardy said.
Jeremy Chardy was also asked about the criticism that Novak Djokovic tends to attract for even the smallest of slip-ups. In response, the Frenchman pointed out how everything that the Serb does gets singled out, which perhaps explains the bias against him.
"It is especially some of his attitudes on the court that are singled out and that I can understand," Chardy said.