WATCH: “Not a popularity contest,” John McEnroe’s snub at Novak Djokovic haters goes viral as an old ad resurfaces on social media

Novak Djokovic had 19 Grand Slams when the video was first released.

WATCH: “Not a popularity contest,” John McEnroe’s snub at Novak Djokovic haters goes viral as an old ad resurfaces on social media

A screengrab from the old John McEnroe clip and Novak Djokovic (via X and Imago)

And old advertisements where retired tennis player John McEnroe can be seen defending Novak Djokovic’s GOAT status have recently resurfaced on social media. The video consists of glimpses from Djokovic’s career with McEnroe’s commentary, where he snubs at the Serb’s haters and explains why he is one of the greatest tennis players of all time. 

Back then, when the video was released, Novak Djokovic had won 19 Grand Slams. He has never been a ‘fan favorite’ or a ‘good guy’ in tennis per se and that is what John McEnroe talks about. He said in the video that tennis is not a popularity contest and to be good at the sport one does not necessarily have to be liked by the fans. 

He could be seen saying in the video:

Grand Slam tennis is not a popularity contest. Being the guy that everyone likes, that everyone wants to win, does not get you the win and that’s what it’s all about. That comes from supreme talent multiplied by harwork times infinity. Hard work on every little thing: Game, body, diet, mind, the complete package.
John McEnroe in the old clip

He reminded that Novak Djokovic has as many as 19 Grand Slams, winning every Grand Slam at least once and has won Wimbledon five times. Obviously, he has even bettered these records since then. The only necessary thing is that the player must be respected by the fans and these achievements build respect. 

McEnroe then added:

They might think you’re a brat. Doesn’t mean a thing. Because what they’ll give you every single time you step onto court, is respect. You can’t not respect a guy with 19 majors. He’s won every slam atleast twice. You can’t not respect a guy who has lifted the Wimbledon 5 times. Who’s done it in the greatest era of men’s tennis ever.
John McEnroe added

Novak Djokovic’s wrist injury arises as a concern ahead of the 2024 Australian Open 

Novak Djokovic recently lost his United Cup match against Alex de Minaur which brought an end to his 43-match win streak. He had suffered a wrist injury ahead of his match against Jiri Lehecka and apparently that is impacting his performance. He himself admitted after his loss that it did have quite an impact on his forehand and serve. However, the Serb is of the opinion that it will not matter much moving forward. 

Novak Djokovic in a practice session ahead of 2024 Australian Open (Image via Imago)

He said, speaking to the reporters:

I think I'll be okay, to be honest. You know, it did have quite an impact, you know, particularly on the forehand and serve.
Novak Djokovic said

The fact that this issue has shown up just a few days ahead of the 2024 Australian Open is the real concern. However, the Serb also won the tournament last season with a torn hamstring and knows how to manage his injuries. 

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