Former world No. 1 Boris Becker expects current No. 1 Novak Djokovic to be booed heavily at the Australian Open, but conceded that it wouldn’t be too much of a problem.
Djokovic’s cold war with the Australian government has not made either party look good. In the Serbian’s case, his refusal to get vaccinated and then appearing for the tournament despite the rules mandating vaccination has rubbed many people the wrong way.
With him hardly a crowd favourite anyway, you would be wise to bet money on him receiving a hostile reception in Australia. Among those who are willing to bet on it is Becker, who predicted the 20-time Grand Slam champion to be treated like a villain.
The former World No. 1 expects Djokovic to be booed heavily at the Australian Open, saying that he will have to have the same approach as he always does to combat it.
“I’m sure there will be a couple of boos and whistles, but he’s used to that,” Becker told the BBC, as quoted by Tennis World USA.
“He was always a street fighter who had to fight the odds and win over the crowd, and it was fascinating in last year’s US Open final when they finally embraced him.
“The crowd will be difficult with him but with each match he starts, he will win the crowd and they will embrace him again. But he is going to have a difficult first week”.
Please get the jab
“I’m sure the French Open and Wimbledon will be watching the Melbourne saga, and I’m sure they will have strict rules on who can play and who cannot play,” he continued.
“It’s everybody’s choice, but life is more difficult if you don’t want to be vaccinated.
“Personally I’d advise him to be vaccinated eventually because life would be easier for him, but ultimately it’s his choice and we have to respect that.”