‘It hurts. I am a human being’: Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic responds to criticism


Hitting again at his detractors and slamming the doubters, Novak Djokovic says his ninth Australian Open triumph was among the many most difficult of his grand slam profession.

Djokovic thumped Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 in Sunday night time’s remaining earlier than taking goal at his critics. The Serb was savaged pre-tournament for detailing a listing of so-called quarantine calls for for the 72 gamers holed up in laborious lockdown, then accused of exaggerating an stomach harm throughout his five-set third-round win over Taylor Fritz.

Whereas admitting that the criticism had damage him, Djokovic defined how he had developed a thick pores and skin to dam it out.

“Emotionally [this] was one in all hardest tournaments I had, to be trustworthy, with quarantine and plenty of issues taking place within the media,” the world No 1 instructed 9.

“The letter that I wrote, concepts and suggestions that I obtained from gamers was misinterpreted as my request and record of calls for. Then the following factor you already know inside a few days I’m persona non grata on this nation.

“I obtained injured within the third spherical. It was a rollercoaster experience if I can outline it in a single phrase. I feel it makes it even sweeter for me.”

Of the criticism, he mentioned: “It appears unfair from some folks that criticise and choose with out actually checking earlier than. However as I mentioned, it’s probably not the primary time. It occurred so many instances in my life, in my profession. It is going to in all probability not be the final one.

“After all, it hurts. I’m a human being like anyone else. I’ve feelings. I don’t get pleasure from when any individual assaults me within the media brazenly and stuff. I can’t say I don’t care about it. After all, it does, I’ve to be trustworthy.

“I didn’t permit it to hinder my efficiency. I feel successful the trophy is in a method my reply. I feel I’ve developed a thick pores and skin over time to simply dodge these issues and deal with what issues to me essentially the most.”

Djokovic maintained he tore a abdomen muscle in opposition to Fritz, and that the harm nonetheless had not absolutely healed.

“As soon as the event is finished, I can say it’s a muscle tear. It was a muscle tear at that time,” the Serb mentioned. “I don’t suppose I’ve skilled that type of a snap that I’ve within the third spherical. I went to MRI. MRI has proven a tear. Individuals questioned that.”

In a weird conclusion to the event, the group inside Rod Laver Enviornment booed Tennis Australia’s president after she talked about the Covid vaccine rollout and the Victorian authorities.

Djokovic had simply wrapped up his 18th grand slam title when Jayne Hrdlicka took to the stage through the presentation ceremony, just for a bit of the group to heckle her as she spoke.

“With vaccinations on the best way, rolling out in lots of international locations around the globe, it’s now a time for optimism and hope for the longer term,” Hrdlicka mentioned, earlier than having to pause as jeers rang out within the stands.

Hrdlicka thanked the Victorian authorities for its work in making the event occur, regardless of the worldwide pandemic and mentioned: “With out you we couldn’t have performed this.”

The group booed as soon as once more earlier than Hrdlicka completed her speech by saying: “You’re a very opinionated group of individuals.”

Djokovic, whose stance on vaccinations has drawn criticism prior to now, mentioned the fortnight in Melbourne had been a hit, regardless of the various challenges confronted by event organisers.

“There are plenty of blended emotions about what has occurred within the final month or so, with tennis gamers coming to Australia,” Djokovic mentioned after his win.

“However I feel once we draw a line in the long run it was a profitable event for organisers … it wasn’t simple, it was very difficult on many various ranges, however they need to be proud.”

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