Novak Djokovic dubbed ‘confrontational’ as Tim Henman weighs in on Serb’s antics

Novak Djokovic on the importance of routines

Novak Djokovic has been dubbed “confrontational” by four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist Tim Henman. The Serbian has clashed with fans during matches in the past and has struggled to attain the same sort of adulation bestowed on the likes of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal throughout his career.

Last month, Djokovic sarcastically applauded the Wimbledon crowd after they appeared to revel in one of his wayward serves during his semi-final showdown with Jannik Sinner. And he cupped his ear to spectators after being booed during his defeat to Carlos Alcaraz in the final.

Away from his conflicts on the court, Djokovic was caught up in a frenzy of emotion when he was banned from last year’s Australian Open and deported from Australia following his refusal to get the Covid-19 vaccination. And Henman believes Djokovic is someone who can be divisive.

“He’s always been a character that has slightly divided opinion and that’s not always just because of his tennis and [could be down to] some of the decisions he has made off the court,” the 48-year-old told Express Sport. “But having watched him a lot, he’s almost a confrontational character.

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“So if he had 80 per cent of the crowd’s support I still think he is the type of person who would focus on the [other] 20 per cent and use it to motivate him, to fire himself up. I find it fascinating that he does sometimes focus on what seems like individuals in the crowd that maybe are against him.

“But whatever way he approaches it, you can’t deny it doesn’t work for him because his results have just been incredible.” Djokovic is the most successful men’s player of all time after winning a record 23 Grand Slam titles.

The 36-year-old defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final of this year’s Australian Open before getting the better of Casper Ruud in the French Open showpiece event. But the veteran then came unstuck against Alcaraz in the final of Wimbledon after losing a five-set thriller.

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US Open tennis makes its long-awaited return to Sky Sports and it’s certainly not something to be missed.

Sky Sports subscribers on Sky Glass, Sky Stream, Sky Q, and the Sky Sports app will be able to watch all courts for the first time on Sky Sports.

Want to watch the US Open Tennis but don’t own Sky?

Never fear as you can get Sky Glass, Sky TV, Netflix for £14 a month for six months – thanks to a limited time deal.

You can also get six months Sky Sports completely free.

Djokovic and Alcaraz are the two frontrunners to win this year’s US Open, which is set to get underway on Monday. And Henman has tipped to Serbian to win the Flushing Meadows title for the fourth time of his career.

“For me I’ve talked about the rivalry of Alcaraz and Djokovic,” added the former British No 1. “Djokovic is, in my opinion, still the man to beat. We shouldn’t forget that he won the Australian Open, French Open, was in the final of Wimbledon in a fifth set. He hasn’t had a bad year. And given his experience in Slams and his ability on hard courts, I definitely think he’s the player to beat.”

The US Open returns exclusively to Sky Sports and NOW with access to all court feeds from 28 August.

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