Novak Djokovic has given his support to Serena Williams after she left a press conference in tears on Thursday.
Williams lost out to Naomi Osaka in the semi-finals of the Australian Open, and she was unable to hold her emotions in check after the match when asked if she could explain her poor performance.
Djokovic, though, says people need to understand just how much weight the pursuit of history carries, and he has moved to remind Serena just how important her, and her many achievements, are to people and to tennis in general.
“When you’re chasing big things that are related to the history of the sport, obviously it has a lot of weight, a lot of pressure,” Novak Djokovic told reporters at the Australian Open when asked for his views on Serena Williams.
“And regardless of the amount of years that you have played on the Tour and the experience that you have, you still feel it on your shoulders.
“I can empathise with Serena and what she’s going through.
“She’s such an amazing champion that inspires both male and female athletes around the world in what she has been doing – what she still is doing. It is extraordinary.
“I’m sure she’s disappointed. I heard she was also emotional in the press conference.
“And, you know, regardless of all the success that she had, I know that when you lose a big match you’re frustrated.
“You’re p***ed off and emotional, it’s completely understandable.
“But I think when you see a larger picture for her and everything that she is, what she stands for on and off the court, she’s one of the greatest athletes, not just tennis players, ever.”
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