Former WTA professional and renowned broadcaster, Annabel Croft wants World No.1 Novak Djokovic to receive love and respect at regular intervals, from fans across the globe.
Despite the Serb’s authority on the game, he doesn’t get the same adulation as compared to his rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
“I really hope he eventually gets the adulation and love that he is deserving of given his achievements in the game,” Croft told Tennis 365.
However, the former British No.1 player was also hopeful that Djokovic will eventually the respect and love that he truly deserves. She even compared him to the early day of tennis legend John McEnroe, when the American youngster entered the scene as a “bad boy” of tennis.
“Having grown up in the [John] McEnroe era and he was so unpopular in the 1980s. He was vilified as the real baddie of the sport. He dominated the headlines for being brattish and someone said to me at the time that in due course, he will get the love and I think that can also happen with Djokovic. Nobody is going to abandon their love of Federer and Nadal, but maybe when they hang up their rackets, people will appreciate what he has done in the sport,” she added.
Novak’s thirst for information impressive
Croft who took to broadcasting after retiring from the game is often seen interviewing tennis players across locations. Talking about the big-three and their insights and love for the game, she explained why the Serbian star stands out in his quest for knowledge and information.
“All three are incredible individuals, but when I interview Djokovic, I find him so interesting. He is so intellectual, his command of the English language is so impressive and he has a thirst for information.”
“He goes the extra mile to find out information about his heart, his lungs, his food intake, his sleep patterns…. he is the ultimate professional athlete. I can’t say enough about him and it saddens me that he does not get the support he deserves,” Croft concluded.
Meanwhile, the top-ranked Djokovic is in New York, where he is aiming for his 21st Grand Slam and a record breaking Calendar Slam. Given the 34-year-old incredible journey in 2021, he is the odds on favourite to win the title in New York.