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Djokovic uses Wimbledon sa国际传媒榙isrespectsa国际传媒 as fuel while chasing another title

Tennis star always reaching for motivation, even from suspect sources
Novak Djokovic of Serbia gestures to the crowd as he is interviewed after defeating Holger Rune of Denmark in their fourth round match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Monday, July 8, 2024.(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Novak Djokovic is just one example of a superstar athlete who manages to find motivation wherever possible. Serena Williams, Michael Jordan and Tom Brady are others who come to mind.

With Djokovic, it often derives from sa国际传媒 or at least his perception that there are sa国际传媒 crowds who are against him. At Wimbledon, the was certain that people in the stands sa国际传媒 and Djokovic, to use a meme-generating phrase associated with Jordan, took that personally.

He objected to the sa国际传媒渄isrespectsa国际传媒 he thought was being directed his way at Centre Court on Monday night while moving a step closer to an eighth title at the All England Club.

sa国际传媒淚 played in much more hostile environments, trust me,sa国际传媒 Djokovic told the rowdiest folks there. sa国际传媒淵ou guys cansa国际传媒檛 touch me.sa国际传媒

Itsa国际传媒檚 not the first time was riled up by spectators cheering against him sa国际传媒 he famously described pretending chants of sa国际传媒淩oger! Roger!sa国际传媒 (as in Federer) were actually his own two-syllable name, sa国际传媒淣ovak! Novak!sa国际传媒 sa国际传媒 and probably wonsa国际传媒檛 be the last.

Djokovic, who will be back on Centre Court on Wednesday against Alex de Minaur, turns it into fuel.

sa国际传媒淪ome of the greatest athletes of all time feel slighted a lot. They use it to give them inspiration: sa国际传媒業sa国际传媒檓 going to beat you,sa国际传媒檚a国际传媒 James Blake, a former professional player who reached No. 4 in the rankings, said Tuesday. sa国际传媒淚n the grand scheme of things, what went on yesterday wasnsa国际传媒檛 a huge deal. But he used it for motivation, so good for him. Isa国际传媒檓 sure itsa国际传媒檚 not easy every day. Yousa国际传媒檙e the greatest of all-time already and you want to push yourself to beat someone thatsa国际传媒檚 fired up to play you. So you use whatever you can use.sa国际传媒

As 2003 Wimbledon runner-up Mark Philippoussis described it, Djokovic sa国际传媒渨ants to hear sa国际传媒榖oo,sa国际传媒 to be honest with you, because it makes him play better. If I were to play him, Isa国际传媒檇 just give him compliments on a change of ends.sa国际传媒

Djokovic was asked after his straight-set victory over Holger Rune sa国际传媒 sa国际传媒淩uuuuuune!sa国际传媒 sounds like sa国际传媒淏oooooo!sa国际传媒 sa国际传媒 in the fourth round Monday whether theresa国际传媒檚 anything that could be done about over-the-top interjections from the seats.

He said he doesnsa国际传媒檛 think so and acknowledged that ticket-holders can support whichever player they want.

There are those who like that element of the sport.

sa国际传媒淚tsa国际传媒檚 kind of good, too, when you see emotion from players, when someone gets upset or annoyed. Itsa国际传媒檚 theater,sa国际传媒 former top-10 player Alicia Molik said.

sa国际传媒淥ften, itsa国际传媒檚 silent, but (players) have to take a bit of the noise and the vocal fans at the same time. Maybe if it was the U.S. Open, no one would notice as much, because wesa国际传媒檙e so used to it being so loud,sa国际传媒 Molik said. sa国际传媒淏ut at Wimbledon, theresa国际传媒檚 a bit more of a hush, isnsa国际传媒檛 there? So probably every word muttered is a little magnified here.sa国际传媒

Another player who was sensitive to what was being said in the tournamentsa国际传媒檚 main stadium on Monday was Alexander Zverev, the two-time major finalist who was wasted a two-set lead and was .

When their match ended, Zverev complained to Fritz about things he heard coming from the Americansa国际传媒檚 guest box sa国际传媒 not his coaches, but from people sa国际传媒渢hat are not maybe from the tennis world, that are not maybe (used to) watching every single match; they were a bit over the top.sa国际传媒

Unlike Djokovic, Zverev wasnsa国际传媒檛 able to enjoy getting the last word in the form of a victory.



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