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Djokovic: As Kobe Bryant said, ‘They only hate the great ones’

Quoting the late basketball legend Kobe Bryant, Djokovic said that haters are a good problem to have

Novak Djokovic during his first round match at 2023 Roland-Garros Novak Djokovic at 2023 Roland-Garros Image Credit: AI/Reuters/Panoramic

Novak Djokovic says that the fact that he gets the most negative comments on social media doesn’t surprise him.

Recent research conducted by World Sports Network revealed that on the men’s tour, Djokovic received the most negative tweets as almost one in five of tweets (15%) about the 22-time Grand Slam champion are negative. 11 percent of reactions on Facebook posts that mention Djokovic are “angry”.

When presented with the data and asked to comment by the Serbian media, Djokovic answered with a question: “Does that surprise you? Personally, I’d be surprised if it were any different,” before quoting basketball legend Kobe Bryant.

“As Kobe used to say, it’s a great quote: ‘Haters are a good problem to have. Nobody hates the good ones. They hate the great ones.’ I don’t hate anybody, I don’t nurture that kind of emotion and I don’t raise my kids that way. Hate is a horrendous emotion. If someone hates me, I think that says more about that person (than me).”

“It’s a new challenge, I hope that I will be able to raise my game as the tournament progresses” – Djokovic

Djokovic said that he doesn’t think he deserved to be hated.

“I wouldn’t change anything in my life because I’ve done everything to the best of my knowledge and abilities in a particular moment. Yes, I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but at least I was authentic, I was being myself – I’d choose that every time compared to saying whatever pleases those that abide by the standards of the establishment.”

Djokovic will next be on court at Roland-Garros on Wednesday where he is due to play former world No 31 Marton Fucsovics, of Hungary, in the second round.

“Marton is physically very well prepared, great return, solid off both sides, so there are not a lot of holes in his game. He plays a clean game, so to say, he is resourceful and can perform at a very high level, which he proved throughout his career. It’s a new challenge, I hope that I will be able to raise my game as the tournament progresses.”

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