World No. 2 Novak Djokovic broke not only the dominance of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal who were well established in the 2000s, but the Serbian also elated himself to join the two greats and form a trio that is now called the Big-3 of tennis. However, the manner in which Novak separated himself from the other Tour players did not sit well with many.
The Serbian being young and fresh on the Tour was often animated on the court and has always been outspoken and honest about all aspects and topics presenting his thoughts openly. However, with the vaccine and visa saga in Australia this year, many have questioned whether Novak is in his true self when he appears publicly or is he different. All these doubts were answered by Serena Williams‘ coach Patrick Mouratoglou.
“Some people say that Novak is not authentic, that he plays to be liked, that he does not show his true personality. I think the opposite. I’ll give you an example: Novak Djokovic is the only great tennis player who refused to have his image featured in a video game. Because he feels it’s not good for children. So he didn’t take the check.
“I think it would have been extremely easy for someone like Novak to sign the papers saying he’s vaccinated even though he is not and nobody would ever know about it. And this would allow him to play all the tournaments, do whatever he wants and be in the position to become the greatest of all times. But no, he didn’t do that. He refused to ‘cheat’, which was easy and with no chance to get caught. Having a doctor sign the document in Serbia, how easy was it for him? But he said no.
“I’m not going to cheat and lie, I’m going to be true to myself. I believe it’s bad for me to be vaccinated whether you like it or not, whether you believe it and I’m going to say it to the world and I will take my responsibilities and if I’m not the GOAT and I can’t play tennis anymore, I will regret it for sure. I will think it is unfair but I will accept it. I think it’s an extremely high and strong value of being authentic,” said Mouratoglou in his Instagram post.
“Action always speaks louder than words” Patrick Mouratoglou on Novak Djokovic
With Novak clearing it up that at least till he is active as a player on the Tour, he will not take the vaccine and might consider getting jabbed only after his retirement as he believes the component of the vaccine can harm his body which can eventually affect his game.
“I think people are going to realize with what’s going on right now that he’s a much more authentic guy than they thought. Maybe he made some errors in terms of communication which leads people to think he is not authentic, but I believe that actions always speak louder than words. A lot of people are good at pretending they are authentic but I look at what they do and not what they say.
“In Novak’s case, his action speaks much louder than what he has said and so that’s why I believe it will be a game-changer (vaccine saga) and people will realise who Novak is really,” concluded Patrick.