Here at the Frappe, we don’t write about tennis very often – and to be honest, I feel kinda funny blogging about this particular sport the day after the Super Bowl. But, something must be said about Novak Djokovic.
During the quarterfinals of the Australian Open last week, Djokovic retired in the fourth set of his match against Andy Roddick who was leading 2 sets to 1 and was already up a break. I don’t think Djokovic gave any reason for giving up, other than a lack of energy due to the heat.
As they would say in Djokovic’s native land of Serbia – this guy needs some cajones.
Yes, it was ridiculously hot, but Roddick seemed willing to go on. And yes, Djokovic’s match the night before went late, but isn’t that part of the job description? What’s worse is that Djokovic waited until he was clearly going to lose to throw in the towel. At what point is it better just to let your opponent finish you off rather than bare the humiliation of being a quitter?
Wait, the humiliation gets better. It was only four months ago that Roddick accused Djokovic of being a gigantic wus, wondering aloud whether Djokovic’s problems involved bird flu, SARS, and and maybe even anthrax, and then saying “You know, he’s either quick to call a trainer or he’s the most courageous guy of all time.”
After those comments, Djokovic knocked Roddick out of the US Open, which only goes to show that the guy can play when he’s provoked. But apparently Djokovic’s feelings have healed, because not even playing against Roddick could give him the motivation to finish out the fourth set in the Australian Open last week.
Djokovic already had a reputation for quitting matches due to supposed medical reasons more than anyone else on the tour – but now he’s even quitting against the very guy who called him out on it – and without even giving a legitimate reason other than that the conditions and the schedule of the tournament were too much for him.
All of us knew a Djokovic growing up – he was the kid who would “accidentally” step on your last ping pong ball right before you crushed him for the sixth straight game. The difference between Djokovic and that kid was that Djokovic actually has talent – which is what makes Djokovic all the more despicable.