The press ‘have a field day’ criticising Novak Djokovic, says Mats Wilander, and he believes that is grossly unfair given his intentions.
Djokovic has been a regular target of the press since tennis resumed after the enforced suspension of the ATP Tour due to the coronavirus crisis.
His creation of the Professional Players’ Tennis Association (PTPA), an independent player’s union, last year drew criticism, and he came in for even unkinder headlines last month when he attempted to intervene to improve conditions for players in hard quarantine in Melbourne.
And, according to Eurosport expert Wilander, people need to spend more time examining the intent behind Djokovic’s chosen pursuits before going on the offensive.
“I think Novak is doing something like what Arthur Ashe did in the 1970s, started the ATP and Jimmy Connors was not happy,” Wilander said.
“Towards the end of the 1980s, we broke away from the Grand Prix tour, we started the ATP Tour and guys made twice as much prize money over one year from 1989 to 1990.
“Novak is trying to start something, he’s trying to be the voice for the smaller guy.
“I give him a lot of credit because he knows that people are going to have opinions about what he says because he’s the number one player in the world.
“But somebody has got to have a voice for the little guy and I think the press is having a field day in criticising him.
“I actually think Novak is doing a great thing and he is speaking up for the smaller guy and the player that needs to make a little more money.”
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