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Friday, April 23, 2021

Here’s a good reason why Novak Djokovic stopped paying attention to John McEnroe, who had been his coach

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On Tuesday, Novak Djokovic once again toyed with the world No. 1. In 2017 he defeated Novak Djokovic, emphatically, in the finals of the US Open. This year he won his first slam title, at Wimbledon. He lost the Australian Open, to a runner-up who now plays for the French, Marin Cilic. And his brilliant performance on Monday in the Davis Cup final against France was, fittingly, notable for the opposing man who later ended it.

In between, Djokovic was behaving badly. His temper became evident in interviews. As Djokovic pushed through the rigors of the early part of the season, his behavior became more and more errant.

The most visible example, of course, was at Wimbledon, where Djokovic pulled himself out of the men’s singles final against Tomas Berdych after only two sets because of his own “physical and emotional health.” (While Djokovic’s lawyer later questioned the true motivations of Team Wawrinka and Djokovic’s medical staff in relation to this strange set of events, Djokovic had his exact words nailed down by the court of Irish common law.)

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