Novak Djokovic's coach lashes out amid Rafa Nadal's historic triumph
Novak Djokovic's coach Goran Ivanisevic has lashed out at the treatment the World No.1 received from fans in his clash with Rafa Nadal at the French Open.
Nadal won his 14th French Open title and 22nd major at Roland Garros on Sunday, thrashing Casper Ruud in the final 6-3 6-3 6-0.
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The Spanish champion battled past Djokovic in the quarter-finals on his way to the title, taking down his great rival in four sets.
However there were ugly scenes throughout the match when spectators loudly booed and jeered Djokovic.
The Serbian star was booed as he walked out onto the court, while spectators also took aim at the World No.1 at a number of stages during the match.
While Djokovic has never been a fan favourite at Roland Garros and wasn't going to have the crowd on his side against Nadal, Ivanisevic was still shocked by the treatment his player received.
And the Croatian tennis great has had enough.
"We knew that it was going to be like that. Before the match, I said 80 percent out of respect, but in reality it was 99.9 percent of the pro-Rafa crowd," he said in an interview with Tennis Majors.
"The only thing that I do not like and the thing that is really unfair is for the crowd to boo Djokovic when he entered the court. I mean, he is the No.1 player in the world and he has won 20 grand slam titles.
"There is no reason to do such a thing – whether you love him or not, you should respect him.
"Afterwards, cheer for Rafa, of course we knew that it was going to be like that. I do not know if Novak was bothered by that or not – he has learned how to deal with it and that cannot be an excuse, in my opinion."
Speaking in commentary for Eurosport at the time, American great John McEnroe was also gobsmacked.
“No other player has had to deal with more adversity," McEnroe said.
"It is unfair, I’ve got to say that. This guy has turned lemons into lemonade more often than any player in the history of tennis, and if you don’t think it bothers him, you’re nuts.
"He is so mentally tough that he can deal with this and somehow channel that anger and frustration over what he feels is a lack of respect - and I feel it is too.”
Social media users were also fuming, with some labelling the crowd's treatment of Djokovic 'disgusting'.
Tough on Djokovic getting booed at the French Open. Doesn’t help himself sometimes, but still deserves respect as an all time great. #RolandGarros2022 #NadalDjokovic
— Billy (@billy_ire) May 31, 2022
These disgusting #RolandGarros crowds think they can boo every non-Spaniard off the court.
As if Djokovic and Zverev give a rat's ass about adversity at this point. They're used to it and Novak, especially, uses it as a tool to power through.
— AmeliaS (@AmethystShining) May 31, 2022
French crowd booing Djokovic. The man is one of tennis’ greatest legends. Show some damn respect!
— Bella Wallersteiner 🇺🇦 (@BellaWallerstei) May 31, 2022
Rafa Nadal reveals plans to play at Wimbledon
Speaking after his historic triumph on Sunday, Nadal revealed he had pain-killing injections in his left foot to play the French Open.
The 36-year-old said he wants to play at Wimbledon later this month, but won't do so if he can't without the injections.
"For me personally, it’s very difficult to describe the feelings that I have," he said.
“It’s something that I never believed to be here at 36 - being competitive again, playing on the most important court of my career. It means [an awful] lot to me.
“I don’t know what will happen in the future, but I’m going to keep fighting.
"Wimbledon is a priority. If I am able to play with anti-inflammatories, yes [I will play], but with anaesthetic injections, no [I won’t play].
"I don’t want to put myself in that position again. It’s not a philosophy I want to follow.
"Wimbledon is not a tournament I want to miss, it’s not a tournament anyone wants to miss.
"I love Wimbledon. I’ve had a lot of success there. A player like me, I’m always ready to play Wimbledon.”
With his 22nd grand slam title, Nadal is now two ahead of Djokovic and Roger Federer on 20.
He became the oldest champion in French Open history, improving his record in finals at Roland Garros to 14-0.
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