Novak Djokovic told it is ‘a shame’ he does not ’embrace himself and stand by the person he is’ by Wimbledon winner

Ewan West
Novak Djokovic looks on ahead of Wimbledon in 2024
Novak Djokovic looks on at Wimbledon in 2024

Former Wimbledon doubles champion Frederik Nielsen has proclaimed that it is a “shame” Novak Djokovic does not “embrace himself and stand by the person he is.”

The retired Danish ATP player also argued that criticism of Holger Rune‘s attitude “shows how dull a generation there has been” in tennis.

Djokovic is competing at the 2024 Wimbledon Championships, where he will face Rune in an intriguing fourth round encounter today.

The current world No 2 is aiming to equal Roger Federer‘s record of eight Wimbledon titles and also claim a record-extending 25th Grand Slam crown.

The 37-year-old Serbian, who underwent meniscus surgery on his right knee last month, has overcome Vit Kopriva, Jacob Fearnley and Alexei Popyrin to reach the last 16.

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In an interview with SpilXperten, Nielsen contrasted Rune’s disposition with that of other players and called for Djokovic to showcase his true self.

“The talk about his (Rune’s) temperament maybe shows how dull a generation there has been,” said Nielsen. “If he had played in the 80s or 90s, it would have been completely normal. He might not even have been noticed.

“But because the others are so ‘vanilla,’ he stands out a bit. I think, for example, that it’s a shame that Novak Djokovic doesn’t just embrace being himself and stand by the person he is.”

Former world No 13 Nick Kyrgios recently took the opposing view to that expressed by Nielsen as he claimed Djokovic does now embrace being himself.

“Now when he goes on court, he doesn’t care. He goes on court, he’s okay being the villain,” the 2022 Wimbledon runner-up said on Piers Morgan Uncensored.

“Like, the people scream out to him and I’ve watched him, they poke the bear and he turns around and ends up playing amazing and he can’t be beaten.

“And early in his career I felt like he always wanted the crowd to be on his side, he always wanted people to embrace him, and now I feel like he’s listened to that and he’s actually embraced being the villain.

“Because he’s a bit of an anti-hero in the tennis world. I don’t think there’s a lot of people that love and also don’t like him, but he embraces that.”

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