Why is Novak Djokovic not included in 2023 ATP Awards for sportsmanship? looking for the real reason

The reigning supreme, Novak Djokovic, took over the center stage of tennis this season when he obliterated opponents and records with a wave of the hand. For his last two decades in the realm of professional tennis, the Serbinator has won 24 Grand Slams and is the male player to have won the most number of singles Grand Slams.

Djokovic is the most decorated player of the modern game, with recent cup titles won at the Rolex Paris Masters and ATP Finals in Turin. However, despite the Serbian having 40 Masters 1000s to his name, he is excluded from the 2023 ATP Awards, something that has shocked the tennis world.

Why is Novak Djokovic not in contention for the ATP Awards for sportsmanship?

With a very positive record this season, Novak Djokovic would not be winning the most prestigious awards on the ATP Tour, even though he’s going to pick up some awards as 2023 comes to an end. Djokovic’s famous losses came at the Wimbledon final against Carlos Alcaraz and also against Jannik Sinner at the Davis Cup and the ATP Finals. Yet despite losses, fans believes that Djokovic stands as the most decorated player in the modern game.

The prestigious award, also known as the fan’s favorite award, is handed out to the most famous player on the court and despite the Serbian being a three-grand Slam champion this season, he is consistently overlooked when the award is given. Last year, Casper Rudd broke the dominance of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the winners list. Federer has won the award 13 times, Nadal on five occasions, and Djokovic is yet to win any.

Roger Federer won the ATP Fans’ Favourite Award from 2003 to 2021, with his unbroken run of wins highlighting his relentless popularity in the game. With Federer retired and Nadal missing the season through injury, Djokovic was easily fancied to have his chances of getting in the mix for this prize, but he was not mentioned again.

Trying to understand why Djokovic may never be loved by the wider tennis community is a battle he may have given up on, but former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli has her view on the issue.“I just feel that Novak raises himself and is even stronger when he is against adversity. He likes to play and compete against it,” Bartoli told Tennis365.

“I think people just got used so much to two players facing each other. If you look at the history of tennis it was (Bjorn) Borg against (John) McEnroe, it was (Pete) Sampras against (Andre) Agassi and it was Roger (Federer) against (Rafa) Nadal. You are not used to having a third one. The third one feels like the disruptor. You don’t want the third one that comes in and wins everything,” Marion added.

Novak Djokovic’s heated interaction with fans

At the US Open quarterfinals clash between Novak Djokovic and Taylor Fritz on Arthur Ashe Stadium, a fan shouted while the ball was still in the air. The 36-year-old star lost the point and immediately turned to the crowd and started remonstrating.

Novak Djokovic
ATP Tour

However, for Djokovic, the latest incident didn’t matter too much as he secured a comfortable 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 victory over the ninth-seeded American to reach his 47th Grand Slam semi-final. Speaking after the game Novak Djokovic said, “It’s part of the sport and mostly I don’t mind it, but in those important moments when you are all of a sudden under a lot of stress and you’re facing a break point and then all of a sudden everything annoys you and distracts you, so then you react.”

Nevertheless, Djokovic did win the US Open making him the first men’s player to win 24 Grand Slam title. But, this will remain something that Novak still has to achieve.

Victor Okechukwu

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