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Saturday, September 6, 2008

How Novak Djokovic Let Bitterness Defeat Him

I love Novak Djokovic. Don't get me wrong. LOVE him. Love his personality, his style, his tennis game. From the moment he began to gain prominence on the tennis circuit, I've been on his team. He's likable as hell. Well...at least, he used to be.

Flash forward to the 2008 season, and I can't help but to notice that that effervescent, engaging, entertaining, completely appreciative personality of his has changed a bit.

Some might speculate that it's due to injuries and physical ailments that plague him on the long, grueling tennis tour that these guys do year in and year out. Maybe that's so. All I know is that the Novak Djokovic that I personally have gotten to know and love was not the one that showed up at the US Open this year.

Novak has been gaining a reputation of crying wolf when it comes to ailments during tennis matches. Whether it's legit, or not, only Nole knows....

Andy Roddick made light of all these illness claims at a press conference, and in a quite entertaining way. Hell, even I had to chuckle, although it's really not good sportsmanship to joke about someone's injuries. Wasn't the best moment for Andy Roddick, really. Funny? Yeah, it kinda was. Should he have said what he said? No. But ya know what? It worked. Those words had Djokovic steaming during that entire match they played.

Novak allowed Roddick's snarky little comments to get to him. He got angry about it. Put a huge chip on his shoulder about it. And that, in my humble opinion, is why he didn't beat Federer in the semis the following match. He let these emotions get to him and it messed with his head completely. He then wanted to win for spite, it seemed, instead of for the joy of just being the best, like he used to. It made him lose concentration and focus. You are never at your best when you're angry.

As we all know, trash talking is part and parcel of any and every sport. A true champion knows how to roll with the punches and allow the BS to roll off his/her shoulders. As far as I can see, Djokovic has yet to develop this skill. If he ever really intends to become the #1 tennis player in the world, he had better develop a slightly thicker skin, and quickly.

In everyone's life, a little negativity will fall. It's how you let it affect you (or not) that counts more. You can either let it defeat you, like it did Djokovic, or you can use it to your advantage. Let it spur you on to be even more successful.
Better. Fiercer. Stronger.
And that, is the absolute BEST way to win.

by The Fitness Diva

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Ricardo said...

You know what, there is trash talk in every sport but none of it is as biting and b*tchy as in Tennis. Since many of these guys come from wealthy families there's always a veneer of politeness but under it is this total hatred. Sometimes the guys go all out but I love listening to the women trash talk each other in tennis. It's like soap opera writing.

Bryan said...

This is normal in sports so you should not let this bring you down instead you should take that as a challenge and play better to prove them wrong! Don't let these trash talks put you down but use it to your advantage..

The Fitness Diva said...

I so agree. You will find trash talking in just about any sport (well, maybe not Olympic curling..lol), but hell, I'm sure even badminton players throw around some slurs every now and then.

Wait....that thing they hit is called a shuttlecock, right? I just thought of about 5 jokes that I just will NOT post here, cause I'm not trying to go porno on you guys.... lol

But, yeah, any athlete knows that some opponents are going to try to get into their heads before game time. You, as a competitor, have to figure out how to deal with that ahead of time. Hotheads always make mistakes.
Cooler heads always prevail.

Hopefully Djokovic will learn something from this.

Shelia said...

I agree with you Fitness Diva, with one major exception; I think that Djokovic and the whole Djokovic clan constantly have chips on their shoulders.

I don't think that he is as bad as his mother and father (mother in particular), but that is one attitudious bunch!

And if he's going to bbe mimicking other players, which I find in good fun and quite funny, then he'd better lighten up.

Turnabout is fair play.

Muckbeast said...

Yeah, this guy is a negative little crybaby wimp. How could he let Andy "Choker" Roddick's comments even bother him. Not only were Roddick's comments true, they were hardly inflammatory.

This is why Federer keeps getting cheap slams. Everyone else playing is just crap.

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durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Fitness Diva,

Most of these players are spoiled brats who have temper tantrums when they don't get their way.

It got to him this time. Maybe next time, he can dish it out to his opponent and come out the winner.

He lost the game himself. Being bitter is playing the loser. That sort of attitude will never be victorious. He has to mature, grow up like that former great tennis star Pete Sampras. :-) --Durano, done!

Rachel said...

I find in life it can sometimes be the case that this sort of thing can bring me down and question myself and whether I am a good person. Then I turn to food and seem to punish myself by putting on weight

Anonymous said...

Novak can dish it out but he can't take it? wtf? He needs to grow up and grow a thicker skin! roddick's comments were funny and meant in jest. I hope roddick beats his ass to the ground next time. --charly

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