Novak Djokovic jokes about his age at the Australian Open
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Serena Williams’ former coach Patrick Mouratoglou has defended Novak Djokovic after former Nike chief Mike Nakajima stated the World No. 1 is not as marketable as his former rival Roger Federer.
In an extract from a new book about the recently retired Federer, titled ‘The Roger Federer Effect’, Nakajima compared the two rivals and highlighted the fact that “there’s always a dark cloud around” Djokovic. “He [Djokovic] could well be the most successful tennis player ever,” Nakajima said, as per CNN.
“But there’s always a dark cloud around him. It’s like he brings it upon himself. He hits the lineswoman at the U.S. Open [in 2020] and gets disqualified?
“It happens, I guess. But why does it always happen to Novak? Or the whole controversy about the Covid-19 vaccination.
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“Now, as a brand: do I want to be behind somebody who always has controversy around him? Or do I want to go with an athlete with a squeaky clean image?”
And Mouratoglou, who has also worked with the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Coco Gauff, has defended Djokovic. Taking to Twitter, Mouratoglou wrote: “To answer [Nakajima] about Nike and Novak.
“Whether we agree or not, like or dislike Novak, I personally prefer a real human being with his qualities, his beliefs and his flows than a perfect untrue image of perfection. Sanctifying perfection is denying our condition as humans.”
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And when quizzed by a fan if he encourages the children he coaches behave like Federer or Djokovic, Mouratoglou added: “I tell them to be themselves. This is the best value. Not trying to be someone else.
“Being a good person doesn’t mean being perfect. Values are essential as drivers to our lives. On the other hand, we also have to accept our imperfections. We are humans not gods.”
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