Is Novak Djokovic the most unloved superstar in tennis?


Is Novak Djokovic the most unloved superstar in tennis? A thinker and scholar, Novak Djokovic introduced a word probably never heard before in a media conference at Wimbledon: transmutate. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, transmute means “to change or alter in form, appearance or nature and especially to a higher form.” It was how Djokovic said he tried to block out the Wimbledon crowd’s overwhelming support for Roger Federer — perhaps the most popular player the sport has ever seen — in the Serb’s wild, dramatic and unpredictable victory over the Swiss in nearly five hours in Sunday’s final. “At times you just try to ignore it, which is quite hard,” said the 32-year-old Djokovic. “I like to transmutate it in a way. When the crowd is chanting ‘Roger,’ I hear ‘Novak.’ It sounds silly but it is like that. I try to convince myself that it’s like that.” Djokovic smiled but deep down, not having much of the crowd behind him must have hurt the now 16-time grand slam winner. “Of course if you have the majority of the crowd on your side, it helps, it gives you motivation, it gives you strength, it gives you energy. When you don’t then you have to find it within.”


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