I honestly don’t understand why a lot of tennis fans believe that Novak Djokovic is boring to watch.
I guess it just depends on why you watch tennis, and what makes it entertaining to you.
But in my book, it’s a pleasure to watch this guy play tennis.
He covers the court as well as anybody I’ve ever seen play, getting to balls that no human being has any right to get to. He is the best returner that I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot of really good ones.
Agassi was good. Connors was good. Hewitt was good. Andy Murray is a top-notch returner. But Novak is a different breed and on another level.
He is so athletic, fast, and flexible that he looks like The Rubber Man out there sometimes.
Watching Djokovic play defense, cover the court and turn defense into offense is one of the greatest joys I’ve gotten out of watching tennis over the last few years.
And that doesn’t even speak to the Harry Houdini acts that he has performed time and time again.
How many times have we seen him down, dejected, and defeated? And somehow he flips a switch and finds another gear. Federer knows. Remember 40-15? Nadal knows. Remember Aussie Open 2012, 4th set, Nadal up 4-2 with 2 sets to 1 lead?
Denis Shapovalov, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Matteo Berrettini know.
They all know that Novak is as mentally tough as they come, and he’s going to keep coming after you.
He’s like the Terminator in tennis whites. He’s programmed to seek and destroy. No matter how many times you hit him, he will keep coming after you.
Novak may not be your favorite player, and he will probably never be The “People’s Champion.” But who cares? The man is a great champion, a phenomenal player, a generational talent, and an icon of the sport.
I’m a proud and defiant Federer fan, but I respect, appreciate and celebrate tennis greatness when I see it. Novak is making history before our very eyes, and he’s not done yet.