In the run-up to the 2013 U.S. Open, the New Yorker ran a major takeout by Lauren Collins on world number one tennis player Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic and his family were slow to internalize the codes of tennis, a sport that derives its prestige from its sense of itself as a gentleman’s game. Among the offenses regularly cited by Djokovic’s detractors is the fact that his parents, cheering him on at a match, wore T-shirts imprinted with a picture of his face. Modesty is a fetish in tennis. “I would like to see him show a bit more humility, like Nadal and Federer,” Roy Emerson, the Australian former champion, said, of Djokovic, in 2011. “There is too much of this chest thumping and roaring when he wins.”
Yeah – tell us about it.
But then the New Yorker piece said this:
Djokovic is on the verge of capturing the respect that has eluded him for much of his career. He seems to become more statesmanlike with every match—a grass-stained Mark Zuckerberg, outgrowing the gawkiness that characterized his early years. Even Roy Emerson offered a glowing assessment of his comportment. “He has definitely changed,” Emerson told me, in August. “I watched him play Murray at Wimbledon, and he seems to have grown up, and actually conducted himself terrifically in the final. He seems to be moving in the right direction.”
Uh-huh. Except for this (via the New York Times):
That’s his reaction to beating a tomato can in the first round?
We’re thinking maybe he’s still Novak Djerkovic.