Novak Djokovic’s tennis achievements have earned him immense love and appreciation from all corners of the world. But in recent times, Djokovic has had an uncomfortable relationship with certain sections of the media.
The World No. 1 recently poured his heart out on the criticism he receives from the press, revealing that he is often pained by the malicious content written about him. Speaking with Tennis Majors, the Serb claimed that a discussion about his portrayal by the media would unnecessarily stir a hornet's nest.
Djokovic has learned to take it in his stride when he gets portrayed as the bad guy by the media, but he acknowledged that the criticism does get to him on occasion.
"That’s like opening Pandora’s box," Djokovic said when asked why he is often painted as the villian. "If we begin to discuss that, we won’t finish this evening. Presumably there are millions of different reasons."
"Truthfully, I have mostly made peace with it," he added. "I cannot say that it doesn’t sometimes get to me – of course an injustice or an unfair portrayal by the media affects me. I am a human being, I have emotions and naturally I don’t enjoy it. I would sincerely like to have a good relationship with them, but it seems that this is not always possible. I do my best to focus on the positive things and the positive articles," he added.
Novak Djokovic also explained why he thinks he receives more brickbats than other players, asserting that he always speaks up against the higher powers. Djokovic admitted that some of his actions and viewpoints might not have gone down well in some regions.
"I have spoken about things which may not have been well received by some establishments, monopolies; in relation to politics within tennis for example," continued the Serb. "Basically, perhaps I antagonize people and then those things (negative treatment in the media) happen."
Novak Djokovic insisted, however, that he will continue to call out those in power for trying to maintain a stranglehold on their privileged position. That is arguably a thinly-veiled dig at Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer - two players who don’t often see eye-to-eye with the World No. 1.
"Of course it hurts when baseless criticism is fired your way and when you’re treated differently, but in a way, that is the path I have chosen," Djokovic added. "As I mentioned, I find fault with and call out people and groups that most likely want to maintain the status quo in which they can reap the benefits in various ways, and that is something that I stand against. That is that."
Nobody in the media can break my spirit: Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic often gets visibly riled up by negative press or boos from the crowd, which shows in his words and actions. However, the Serb is confident that his 'spirit' cannot be dented by the criticism he receives.
Djokovic claimed that he has an unbreakable bond and understanding with his inner self, which helps him deal with the negativity.
"Nobody in the media can break my spirit, for my connection with my own soul and consciousness is deeper than any news that is written about me and any sort of public criticism," Djokovic said.