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"Novak is not a great sport" - Rennae Stubbs on Novak Djokovic's exclusion from ATP's Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award nominees

Rennae Stubbs (insert) says her piece on Novak Djokovic
Rennae Stubbs (insert) says her piece on Novak Djokovic' s (right) absence in the ATP's Sportsmanship Award nominees.

Novak Djokovic is not among the 11 players nominated for the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award in this year's ATP Awards. And many of his fans have taken offense at the snub, with one even claiming that certain media personalities as well as the ATP tour are doing a "mass media against Novak."

The fan also lauded former players turned tennis broadcasters Chrissie Evert and Rennae Stubbs for their "empathy."

@jon_wertheim @ATP Again the cabal of @atptour @DKTNNS @jon_wertheim @Martina @PHShriver do mass media against Novak. I respect @ChrissieEvert and @rennaestubbs for having empathy

Rennae Stubbs, however, reacted by siding with the ATP's exclusion of the Serb in the list of the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award nominees. She explained that it had nothing to do with being against Djokovic, but about the long-time No. 1's attitude on the court.

"Nothing to do with that. Novak is not a great sport on court: he’s been defaulted, broken racquets, etcetera, among other things," said Stubbs.

The Aussie added that while Djokovic may be a gracious loser, the award is not handed because of that.

"He’s absolutely a gracious loser, I’ll give him that, but this award is for sportsmanship on and off court. So don’t make this about anything but that," Stubbs said.
@muralir0 @jon_wertheim @ATP @atptour @DKTNNS @Martina @PHShriver @ChrissieEvert nothing to do with that. Novak is not a great sport on court, he’s been defaulted, broken racquets, etc. among other things. He’s absolutely a gracious loser, I’ll give him that, but this award is for sportsmanship on and off court. So don’t make this about anything but that.

Another fan soon responded to Stubbs' comments, sarcastically citing examples of Djokovic's "unsportsmanlike behavior" - helping a fallen opponent, supporting underprivileged players, and displaying graciousness in defeat against Holger Rune in the Paris Masters early this month.

@Rahfucious @RottenKnee77 @rennaestubbs @muralir0 @jon_wertheim @ATP @atptour @DKTNNS @Martina @PHShriver @ChrissieEvert Helping a fallen opponent, supporting underprivileged players, gracious defeat against a triumpant Rune. Some of @DjokerNole un-sportsmanlike behaviour, on and off the court, in 2022 ... https://t.co/W74tDmn22P

Stubbs then acknowledged that Djokovic did do all that, but also made a mention of his "outbursts" on the court.

"He does stuff like this, absolutely! So do A LOT OF PLAYERS! He also has outbursts on court! Smashed the net at the French Open, threw his racquet that almost hit a ball kid in Serbia. I could go on, but it’s pointless with you stans! You see gold toilets with your heroes!" wrote Stubbs.
@ElkNat877 @Rahfucious @RottenKnee77 @muralir0 @jon_wertheim @ATP @atptour @DKTNNS @Martina @PHShriver @ChrissieEvert @DjokerNole Yeah he does stuff like this, absolutely! So do A LOT OF PLAYERS! he also has outbursts on court! Smashed the net at the French Open, threw his racquet that almost hit a ball kid in Serbia. I could go on but it’s pointless with you Stans! U see gold toilets with ur hero’s!

Has Novak Djokovic ever won the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award?

Novak Djokovic smashes his racquet in frustration during his 2021 Australian Open quarterfinal match against Alexander Zverev.
Novak Djokovic smashes his racquet in frustration during his 2021 Australian Open quarterfinal match against Alexander Zverev.

Despite the numerous accolades Novak Djokovic has received in his illustrious career, he is yet to receive recognition by the ATP for his sportsmanship. This is in sharp contrast to his Big 3 comrades Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who have both extended their on-court dominance to wins in the sportsmanship awards department too.

Federer and Nadal share 18 Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Awards between them. The run started in 2004, which kicked off a five-year streak for Federer. Nadal halted Federer's run in 2010 before the Swiss was reinstated from 2011 to 2017. Nadal has won the award every year since then.

The recipient of the Sportsmanship Award is chosen by fellow ATP players. This year's nominees are Cameron Norrie, Carlos Alcaraz, Casper Ruud, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Frances Tiafoe, Grigor Dimitrov, Hubert Hurkacz, Lorenzo Musetti, Matteo Berrettini, Maxime Cressy, and Nadal.

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Edited by Anirudh
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