As Novak Djokovic himself says: “It can be very stressful to run with the wolf.” The number one, who has already reached the round of 16 in New York after beating Kei Nishikori (6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3 and 6-2), refers to the shirt that his wife is wearing, the unconditional follower who accompanies you here and there, and who supports you whatever the circumstance. The current one is not good for him. Although the Serbian is only four steps away from achieving the historical record of Grand Slams and surpassing Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for the first time in his career, so far in pursuit of the two, he does not finish feeling comfortable in New York . In fact, he is not happy. Nole is hurt, he forgives but does not forget.
That’s why, when Darren Cahill asks him at the foot of the track if he doesn’t feel the love of the North American stands, a disapproving gesture escapes him and he answers coldly: “Now yes, thank you. I appreciate your contribution in this match. No sign of that Djokovic who gives love to the stands. Just seriousness, coldness, distance. The Balkan’s soul hurts, and the origin of that pain dates back two years ago, when he left Arthur Ashe with his left thumb up, ironically corresponding to a significant sector of an audience that was whistling at him that day and that throughout from that tournament he had dedicated whistles to him because they understood that he was pretending.
It was not like that. With a right shoulder injury, Djokovic had suffered from the joint since the second round, when he interrupted a difficult game against Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero. The medical treatment and an anti-inflammatory allowed him to continue and win, but in the next two engagements he found the stands against him and a whiff that suggested that his was simply theater, a distraction maneuver. However, during the round of 16 against Stanislas Wawrinka, the shoulder said enough and when he had already given up two sets and could not bear the pain anymore, he quit.
“I am not offended or mistreated by anyone,” he said then with a small mouth. “What do you want me to say? “Really, I don’t pay too much attention to that. I like to respect others and I hope that the rest can respect my decision, ”he replied to the journalist who raised the situation with him. Djokovic was lying. The 34-year-old champion of 20 majors returned home with a deep wound that still has not healed, especially after returning to Flushing Meadows this year, again with the fans in the bleachers of the immense center court. , has encountered a less conciliatory scenario.
Four steps from the milestone
In his premiere in this edition, against the young Holger Rune, the king of the circuit already heard some whistles and had to row against the current in a situation that was repeated in the two subsequent rounds, against Tallon Griekspoor and Nishikori. “People have been with him. It’s hard because even though I have tons of experience on this track, it was my debut, and you still feel nervous, “he said; “You always want to have people behind you, but it is not always possible. It’s all he could say. I have specified what I should do and remain calm at all times. At one point, he honestly didn’t know what they were yelling. In fact, I thought they were booing. It wasn’t the ideal climate, but I knew how to handle it. “
Later, during the duel against Griekspoor there was an isolated incident with a supporter who pushed the limits. “On this track there is a lot of noise, especially in the night sessions. But it doesn’t bother me. Sometimes there are even sounds of excitement, screaming or sighing during the point, and that’s fine, ”he introduced. “But if someone does it on purpose and when you are by the side, over and over again, I tolerate it to some extent. For some reason this guy [al que señaló] He has done it several times, and he knew exactly why he was doing it. “
Djokovic accepts the logic of tennis, a sport in which the public tends to embrace the theoretically weakest player, but not so much that New York does it systematically, nor that there are disrespect when he misses a shot or is about to serve, with the intention to decentralize you. He does not quite understand the number one that despite being so close to achieving a historic milestone, to giving the big blow, the Queens stand does not show more respect for a tennis player who has conquered the tournament three times (2011, 2015 and 2018) and that in the case of winning the four remaining games – in the eighth they will be measured against local twenty-year-old Jenson Brooksby – he will equal the formidable number of victories (82) that he has in Australia, his territory par excellence.
On Saturday, against Nishikori, he held back the tension until, undoing the tangle of the third set and getting ahead, he roared like a lion. So yes, he parked that icy Djokovic and expelled everything he had inside. “I don’t plan these kinds of moments, good or bad. They just happen, ”he explained. “When I feel that it is an important moment, I want to get everything out and I try to take advantage of that wave of energy that I myself create, either with myself or with the public,” sealed the wolf of Belgrade, who for now has decided to mark distances with the fans from Flushing Meadows.
Check the Results of the day / Order of play of Monday.
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