Reilly Opelka's father defends Novak Djokovic against "poison" criticism online: "The locker room knows"

Tennis News
Wednesday, 27 September 2023 at 11:30
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Reilly Opelka's father George has defended Novak Djokovic from "poison" criticism on social media after Vasek Pospisil said the World No. 1 does not get enough credit from fans.
Djokovic has undoubtedly had a profound impact on the sport. Most recently, the 36-year-old equaled Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam titles after he achieved a straight-sets victory over Daniil Medvedev in the final of the US Open. This came after he won the Australian Open and Roland Garros titles earlier this year.
The Serbian player has also been involved in charitable works throughout his career. In particular, the Novak Djokovic Foundation works to provide education projects to young children in his home country. He has also been vocal about better wages for lower-ranked players in the sport and founded the Professional Tennis Players' Association (PTPA) with Pospisil back in 2019 as a way for players to fight for their rights.

Pospisil calls out lack of credit 

However, many have commented over the years about how Djokovic has not received the same adoration from fans as his fellow Big Three members Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. In a recent interview with Smashing Rackets, Pospisil condemned this lack of credit.
"Novak doesn’t get enough credit and it pi**es me off. He’s such a good guy. Everybody can act like they’re an angel when the cameras are rolling and they can say that right things and this and that. It’s like how you are when there are no cameras around and how you are with people around in general.
"I mean, he’s so generous and I don’t know if it’s my place to say this but he helps juniors in Serbia, he’s financing, he’s helping, he really cares. And that’s because of, I guess, his upbringing and what he went through to get to where he is and he has appreciation of the grind, how hard it is and how skewed everything is like against the players. It comes from a genuine place. He’s trying to help these players in the sport," he said.

Opelka's father says social media hate makes him angry

In response to this, Opelka's father shared his thoughts on Djokovic, saying that it wasn't so much the lack of credit that annoyed him, but rather the amount of criticism that the tennis star receives online.
"The locker room knows. The credit shortage doesn’t pi** me off as much as the H8 poison on social media directed at Novak, unwarranted for the reasons Vasek mentions. Novak’s body of work will continue to evolve and tell his story. Critical to stay the course so tennis wins," he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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