John McEnroe has called for tennis fans to show more respect to Novak Djokovic, describing him as 'a credit to our game.'
Djokovic has not always been the favourite of the crowds, particularly when playing against Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal, although there was plenty of support for him at Wimbledon this year.
McEnroe was cast as a tennis villain himself in his career, and he knows how frustrating it can be.
Speaking to GQ magazine, McEnroe cited the example of world number one Daniil Medvedev, who has also had difficulties with ingratiating himself to crowds, to express how little either player deserves to be vilified by any tennis crowd against any opponent.
Speaking about how Medvedev tackled the crowd head on in one post-match interview at the 2020 US Open, McEnroe said: “That was a gutsy thing to do because you don't want everyone in the New York audience booing against you.
"But he (Medvedev) did a fantastic job, and then he won the crowd over in the finals, through his effort, which is fantastic.
“And then they loved him, pretty much, last year. Now it’s bothering him, which is more normal. It's catching up to him. There’s only so long you can go that way.
“If you watch the [final] against Nadal in Australia [this year], 90 per cent of the people were for Nadal, because they love Nadal. But he didn't get that. He didn't deserve that.
"Nor did Djokovic deserve it at the French [Open]. When they played, they were booing him when he came out. Djokovic, you may not like him as much as Nadal or Federer, but he's a credit to our game for God's sakes.”
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