Some prefer Roger Federer, others Rafael Nadal, but when it comes to Novak Djokovic, his charisma, humility, and sportsmanship make him liked by all tennis fans.
Like all sports stars, he does have his hairy moments when the adrenaline and pressure is kicking in, but on the whole, he seems like a decent fellow who respects all involved with the game, including the ball boys.
Djokovic has added touches of class to the sport since becoming a pro in 2003, giving a ball boy a moment of limelight by helping him stretch at the Australian Open, and sharing a water and his umbrella with a ball boy who was getting wet at the French Open.
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Well, he’s done it again, this time as Twitter shared with us a video of Djokovic standing with all the fans to applaud Diego Schwartzman, his opponent in round three of this year’s French Open.
He joined the packed out Court Philippe Chatrier to see Schwartzman head back inside the pavilion after a thrilling five-set match which almost saw the world number two go crashing out of the competition.
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Schwartzman took Djokovic to five sets
The Argentine world number 41 took the first set 5-7, only for Djokovic to hit back in the second 6-3.
But, it was a surprise that the spirited Schwartzman took the next set 3-6 and left Djokovic on the brink of a third round exit, which hasn’t happened since 2009.
Since then, he has reached one quarter-final, two semi-finals, and four finals, winning last year’s Open against Andy Murray.
But, Djokovic took his experience and power and applied them to the game to win 6-1 and 6-1 in the last two sets to take the victory.
Including the applause he gave Schwartzman, Djokovic also gave his opponent great credit in his post-match comments.
“Sometimes you need to be challenged in order for certain things to surface, which maybe are not surfacing if you’re winning comfortably.”
Schwartzman was humbled by the ovation and was surprised Djokovic was clapping too.
“It’s truly extraordinary thing,” he said.
“I could see everyone was clapping, and that Djoko was clapping and looking my way... It’s going to be a great memory.”
You can watch the amazing videos below.
It must be amazing to see a player as great as Novak Djokovic clapping you off after you’ve pushed him all the way to five sets and also humbling that a man of his presence can take the time to do that.
Djokovic will now face Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the fourth round.
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