Coach Patrick Mouratoglou has called for the Melbourne crowd to show respect to Novak Djokovic as he believes that’s what a great champion like the Serb deserves. 12 months ago, Djokovic was denied participation at the Australian Open.
In late 2022, Djokovic was notified by the Australian government that he is free to return to the country in 2023. Last week – 12 months after the infamous Australia visa saga – Djokovic returned to Australia, specifically Adelaide.
In Adelaide, Djokovic has been received well and there has been a lot of support for the Serb. After Adelaide, Djokovic will go to Melbourne for the Australian Open. Djokovic is a record nine-time Australian Open champion and Mouratoglou feels the Melbourne crowd needs to bear that in mind.
Mouratoglou on Djokovic in Australia: Respect great champions
“I hope the Australians give him a nice welcome because in my opinion, everything that’s been said about him is so undeserved. I would like them to have respect for the champions.
When you go into a tennis stadium and you see Djokovic playing, the least you can do is to respect these great champions, whether you like them or not, whether you agree with them or not. I think that’s the minimum,” Mouratoglou told Eurosport’s Arnold Montgault.
Meanwhile, Djokovic kicked off his Adelaide International campaign with a win over Constant Lestienne. When Djokovic entered the court for his match against Lestienne, the whole court exploded. After beating Lestienne, Djokovic admitted that he was very grateful for the crowd’s reaction.
Also, Djokovic noted that he has moved past the Australia visa debacle and that he is focused on achieving more success in Australia. Exactly 15 years ago, Djokovic became a Grand Slam champion after beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the 2008 Australian Open final.
Now in 2023, Djokovic is returning to Australia as a record nine-time Australian Open champion. It remains to be seen if Djokovic can capture his 22nd Grand Slam at this year’s Australian Open.