Despite being showered in praise after clinching his ninth Australian Open title and 18th Grand Slam just last week, Novak Djokovic still isn't happy with how he was treated by the press.
And his head coach reckons he knows exactly why he's been singled out so much over the past 12 months.
Goran Ivanisevic has sensationally claimed that Djokovic was "massacred" by the media simply because of his Balkan background.
"Everything started with the Adria Tour; they were after him even before that, but in the last year it seemed to me as if I am watching that film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," Ivanisevic told Tennis Majors.
"Why is he being treated that way? Probably because of his background, people from Balkans are always looked at differently; also, Novak is not afraid to speak his mind and to fight for causes he believes in."
Djokovic was the subject of constant attention from the press in 2020.
He was heavily criticised for his handling of the global coronavirus pandemic, especially when he decided to host his own tennis tournament while COVID cases in Europe were continuing to rise.
The Serbian star's apparent disregard for social distancing rules were made crystal clear when he eventually tested positive for the virus just days after being seen partying topless at an illegal party in Croatia.
Oh, and how could we forget the incident from the US Open which saw him booted from the tournament for hitting a line judge in the face with a ball?
And his 42-day stay in Australia was just as eventful off the court as it was on it after he was slammed by the media (and a couple of his fellow competitors) for complaining about the living standards in his Melbourne hotel room during the compulsory quarantine.
"What happened at the US Open, it was as if everyone was glad because that kind of s**t happened to him," Ivanisevic added.
"In Australia he stood up for his fellow players and again - let's kick Djokovic because he is the only one to speak up, everyone else stays silent. Throughout my career I have witnessed players doing all sorts of things, but nobody got the kind of treatment Novak does.
"Then, the cherry on top... How shall I put this? The most perfidious, actually the saddest thing were accusations that he was faking an injury. Why on earth would he do that? Why would the best player in the world make up an injury, and he was up two sets to love at that point?! When some other top player is injured, it is considered a heroic act for them to even step on the court. But when it is Novak, he is faking it.
"Somehow he manages to deal with all of that."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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