NEW YORK: Moments after Novak Djokovic reached the U.S. Open final on Friday and moved one step from clinching an elusive calendar Grand Slam, a group of fans in Arthur Ashe Stadium unfurled a banner with a photo of the smiling Serb.
“Like It or Not,” the sign defiantly read. “Greatest of All Time”.
Indeed, not everyone is happy that Djokovic has a chance on Sunday to capture his record 21st major title and break a three-way tie with Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal. Throughout his seemingly inexorable march into history, he has remained third behind his long time rivals in the hearts of many tennis fans.
During the two-week tennis major, the 34-year-old renewed his up-and-down relationship with the New York crowd, by turns imploring fans for more support and appearing frustrated when he failed to get it.
“Obviously, you always wish to have crowd behind you, but it’s not always possible,” he said after his first-round match, when the fans got behind his underdog opponent, Danish teenager Holger Rune.