Novak Djokovic - Roland Garros 2022

‘Novak Djokovic has been treated badly’ but ‘love will come out’ after he retires says Lloyd

Former British number one John Lloyd has claimed that 20-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic has not been given the respect he deserves by fans and the press, but feels people will “go crazy for him” once he retires.

While Djokovic is one of the greatest player of all time, the Serbian has often been on the receiving end of boos from spectators during matches, especially when he is up against the other two members of the Big Three Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

Most recently, the Serb was the subject of a chorus of jeers and boos from the crowd at the French Open earlier this month during his opening round win.

Having won 20 Grand Slam titles and spending a record number of weeks as world number one, he has also often had a strained relationship with sections of the media.

Most notably, in January, Djokovic faced a lot of media scrutiny after being deported from Australia due to his unvaccinated status. 

Reflecting on Djokovic’s relationship with the fans and the media, renowned commentator David Lloyd argued that defending Wimbledon champion Djokovic deserves more credit as he suggested the respect might come once he is close to retirement.

In a recent interview, Lloyd told reporters, “It really is [a bizarre story that Djokovic does not get any credit]. We talk about this era and it is almost for Novak as if he is fortunate to be in this era because he has been great in so many ways, but he is unfortunate that he is in this era with Rafa and Roger and you put Andy [Murray] obviously below that.

“They are great players, but they have a popularity with the fans and with the press that he doesn’t and I think he has been treated pretty badly, certainly by spectators and certainly by the press.

“He is one of these players – as there are some stars and I will throw in Jimmy Connors right away – they are treated a lot better after they come back. When they come back either as a broadcaster or they come back at 36 or 37 and they walk into the stadiums and people go crazy about them.

“It is almost like ‘I wasn’t a big fan of you some much then, but now I appreciate the fact that you were amazing back then’ and then all the love comes out.

“I have a feeling with Novak it will be a little that way and the love will come out probably after he has finished or when people feel like it is his last year then everybody will be going crazy for him. That is just the nature of the beast.”

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