Former world No 2 on Novak Djokovic’s ‘devils’ and why he is misunderstood

Novak Djokovic celebrates at Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic is misunderstood by his critics and they need to appreciate the contribution he is making to the world on and off the court.

That’s the verdict of former world No 1 and French Open runners-up Alex Corretja, who insisted Djokovic’s doubters have refused to open their eyes to what the 23-time Grand Slam champion has brought to the sport.

Speaking exclusively to Tennis365 at an ASICS event in Wimbledon on the eve of The Championships, Corretja spoke about his admiration for the Serbian legend and suggested the criticism that continues to come his way despite his success is misplaced.

“People get confused by his way of thinking and it’s a shame because I think he is an unbelievable human being, honestly,” began Corretja.

“He is deep, he is someone who is very interesting and you learn so much when he speaks. When you listen to him, he goes into everything to become better both as a tennis player and a human being, as a father and a son. I have so much respect for him and I am a big fan.

“People don’t know Novak and that is why they have an opinion of him that isn’t always positive. What they see from a player is the reactions he shows on court.

“They have a chance to hear maybe two questions from him on court and that is nothing as they are pretty much based on the match.

“I like him very much, he is an interesting person and he has so much to add to the whole world. He is a humble guy and I think it would be good for him to give some interviews from time to time for people to get to know him better.”

Alex Corretja with Tennis365's Kevin Palmer
Alex Corretja with Tennis365’s Kevin Palmer at an ASICS event in Wimbledon

Corretja went on to suggest Djokovic’s angry reactions to his team on court are one of the reasons why some observers have a negative opinion of him.

“When people see the reactions he shows towards his team, as he has said, it’s difficult for you to justify those reactions and that’s what people get from him,” he stated.

“They say the player or that player don’t do this, but this is what he needs to do. Not because he has a lack of respect for his team, but because this is how he takes the devils out of his mind and body.

“I explain this on commentary when I work on Novak’s matches and some people understand him more, but if you are in Spain and he is playing Rafa Nadal or Carlos Alcaraz, they don’t care. They ask… are you Serbian?

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“No, I am just explaining how Novak processes disappointment and works it out on the court.”

Corretja went on to suggest Djokovic may be unbeatable at Wimbledon this year, as he suggested the seven-time champion has a dominance on grass courts that is hard to stop.

“If he plays at his best, he wins Wimbledon,” added Corretja.

“There is no doubt if he is in good shape, he is the man to beat, but you have to prove it on the court. Seven matches, best of five sets is never easy.”

Alex Corretja spoke to Tennis365 at the ASICS House of Tennis, a one-minute walk away from the All England Club at Wimbledon.

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