Not for the first time Novak Djokovic put in a display of the highest quality, but did not get the crowd appreciation he deserved, but the Serb remains steadfast in his assertion that he’s not concerned by it.
The opening two sets of Djokovic’s 6-1, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, victory over Roger Federer in Thursday’s Australian Open semi-final were an exhibit of magnificent tennis, with the world number one saving his top form for his biggest rival.
While the head-to-head between Djokovic and Federer may now edge slightly in the former’s favour, the level of crowd support could hardly have be more in favour of Federer.
At the Rod Laver Arena on Thursday the crowd was silenced during Djokovic’s period of complete dominance, but came to life when Federer was on top.
First the Swiss was given a standing ovation when he returned to the court prior to the third set, willing him to fight back. When Federer served for the fourth set the stadium erupted with delight. Another standing ovation followed when Federer walked off the court, defeated.
The favour shown towards Federer was not as extreme as when Djokovic was at times booed during last year’s US Open final, but it was impossible to ignore how little support Djokovic garnered.
Speaking after the match, Djokovic said that he appreciated that a player of Federer’s stature would always have great support.
“(Federer’s) loved. He’s appreciated. He’s respected around the world,” he said.
“For me it’s normal in a way. I’m trying obviously to enjoy my time, to do the best that I can with the tennis racquet, but also focus on the positive energy rather than negative, rather than getting frustrated for that.”
Djokovic may have to wait until Federer retires to receive the support he deserves, and it certainly will have been hard earned.
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