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Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic is doing his own thing.
When ESPN asked Djokovic “what has it been like to be something of the ‘bad guy’ chasing after [Roger Federer] and [Rafael Nadal] all these years?” he politely corrected his questioner.
“I don’t consider myself a bad guy. I mean, that’s your opinion,” Djokovic said. “I’m not chasing anybody. I’m making my own path and my own journey, my own history. I’m privileged to be part of history of this sport that I love.”
The world No. 1 earned a spot in the Wimbledon semis with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win against Marton Fucsovics, becoming the first male tennis player to reach 10 Grand Slam semifinals on all three surfaces: hard, grass and clay. Djokovic is now just two wins away from tying the career grand slam title record (20), jointly held by Federer and Nadal.
“As I said on the court, I know about a lot of stats,” Djokovic said. “I don’t know about all of them. But they do motivate me even more to play my best tennis at the events that count the most in our sport.”
Tennis connoisseurs were not happy with ESPN’s question.
“One of worst opening questions I’ve ever heard in a press conference, good lord,” one journalist tweeted in reference to the incident.
“Appalling question once again by a ‘tennis journalist.’ Composed, classy and direct answer from Djokovic. He really does put up with a lot,” one commenter wrote.
One Twitter user even suggested, “the media is haunting [Djokovic].”
Djokovic – who became the third man to capture all four majors more than once with his second French Open victory last month – will face Canada’s Denis Shapovalov in the semifinals on Friday at 10:30 a.m.