BELGRADE. — Novak Djokovic does not feel antagonized by lack of fan support when facing his biggest rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in major finals on the ATP Tour, Serbia’s world number one said on Tuesday.
Tennis pundits have often suggested that Djokovic gets infuriated as well as galvanized by overwhelming support for Federer and Nadal when he locks horns with them, but the 32-year-old from Belgrade offered a different view.
“I’ve read a lot of stuff suggesting that I am disliked but I really don’t have that impression, especially off-court,” Djokovic told a news conference at his tennis academy in the Serbian capital.
“Even if that was true, why would I want to add fuel to the fire?
“I don’t want to stir up negative emotions. I have no ill feelings for people who don’t support me. Having said that, I am not proud of my occasional reactions on the court as my passion gets the better of my self-control at times.
“I will always admit that I do make mistakes and I always try to learn from them. You reap what you sow and it is never my intention to generate bad energy.”
Djokovic conceded that there were places where he has less support than in others.
“It is a fact that most fans support Federer and Nadal against me but that’s due to what they represent in world tennis,” he added.
“It doesn’t mean that fans hate me and it certainly doesn’t mean that I need to turn Serbia against the rest of the world just because fewer people support me in Grand Slam finals.”