Roger Federer's former coach Paul Annacone feels it is unfair that Novak Djokovic has not been receiving the same adulation the Swiss ace and Rafael Nadal have been getting from fans despite being the most dominant player in the last decade.
It is no secret that Federer and Nadal are more adored by tennis fans across the globe. Djokovic has addressed it during his career, and it has always been a sticking point for the Serbian world number one.
French tennis player Jeremy Chardy put it across well when he said, you cannot like Federer or Nadal if you like Djokovic, but one can like Nadal if you are a Federer fan and vice versa. The Serbian has always been viewed as an outsider in the Big Three since his emergence came a few years after the Swiss and Spanish duo started dominating the game.
Annacone feels Djokovic deserves every bit of the adulation that is showered on Federer and Nadal after his showing in the last decade. Since 2011, the world number one has won 18 of his 19 Grand Slam titles, while Federer and Nadal have won a combined 15. He has also won more ATP Masters and ATP Finals titles than his two rivals.
"He has come in the footsteps of probably two of the hardest people that could ever come in the footsteps of because they're so beloved- Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. For me, I think that's a shame for Novak because he hasn't been able to get the appreciation he deserves," Annacone said, as quoted on Tennis World USA.
"He has won 31 Masters 1000 where the rest have won 28, ATP Finals he has won 4, those guys have won 1 and he's been No.1 [for a record] 324 weeks," he added. "I mean he's been the most dominant player in the last decade. That's just the way it is."
Djokovic has again dominated the majors in 2021, by claiming both the Australian Open and the French Open title at Roland Garros, which made him the first male tennis player in the Open Era to win all Grand Slams at least twice. The Serbian is now targeting a Golden Slam by winning the remaining two majors - Wimbledon and the US Open - and claiming gold at the Tokyo Olympics.