Novak Djokovic news: ‘He wants people to love him’ – WTA star slams world No 1 in frank interview

Novak Djokovic in action

In a candid interview, WTA star Daria Kasatkina has made no secret of the fact that she has never been a fan of Novak Djokovic and admits she is unimpressed with how he “wants people to love him”.

Djokovic was unable to defend his Australian Open title in Melbourne following a run in with authorities over his visa and his vaccination status.

After two court cases, the Serbian was deported from the country and he last week revealed that he would share his side of events in the coming weeks.

Novak Djokovic news: World No 1 breaks silence, promises to give more details about ‘unfortunate events’

The tennis community – or perhaps even the wider sporting community – appears to be divided into two camps as there is one group who feels he should have been allowed to defend his title while the other side believes the right decision was made by Australian authorities.

And Kasatkina is very much in the latter camp as she told Eurosport Russia in a lengthy interview that it would not have been fair if the unvaccainted Djokovic was allowed to enter the tournament.

“I will say this, it would be unpleasant for the players if Djokovic was allowed to play,” the former world No 10 said.

“Because we all made some kind of sacrifice, we accepted the rules of the game in order to play.

“Novak wanted to go his own way. If he was allowed to play with all the set of absurdities that eventually happened, it would not be fair to the players.”

But it is quite clear from the interview that the Russian is not one of Djokovic’s biggest supporters as she was asked about being “emotionally naked in front of people” following her quote “the more you pour out, the more you give to the world of yourself” last year.

She replied: “No I’m not afraid. Why be afraid to show the real you. If people don’t like who you are, okay. It’s better than when people like you for who you are not. It’s better to be disliked for who you are.”

She was then asked “are there such examples in the Tour?”

“There is such a person – Djokovic. We all see how he wants people to love him. How he tries to do everything for this, but it does not work,” the reply came.

“Because in the end it still feels like something is not right. Rafa [Nadal] is real, he doesn’t smash rackets because he just hasn’t done it since childhood. He splashes out emotions in a different way – the same ‘Vamos’ of his is adored by many.

“Not many people like it when people try to seem like they are not. The pretence is visible.”

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But Kasatkina it is not only Djokovic whom Kasatkina dislikes as she was also asked about Roger Federer.

“I have a calm situation with Roger for a long time. I accepted the fact that they [Federer and Djokovic] are both the greatest,” she replied.

“Roger is an incredible talent. Plus, he hasn’t played lately, so it’s much easier to perceive. Federer didn’t piss me off after 16 years.

“Novak is a different story. He is a different person too. When Rafa plays with him, emotions run high. Especially when Rafa could not do anything with Djokovic even on clay for several matches. Then it was sad from hopelessness.

“But who would have thought that the 21st “Slam” would be in Australia. It is very symbolic and cool because it was Djokovic’s favourite Slam that he won.”