Which tennis player was more hated by the public, John McEnroe during the 1980s or Novak Djokovic today?

Which tennis player was more disliked, McEnroe during the 80s or Djokovic today?

  • Djokovic

    Votes: 33 46.5%
  • McEnroe

    Votes: 9 12.7%
  • Both equally disliked

    Votes: 2 2.8%
  • Neither was ever really "hated"

    Votes: 27 38.0%

  • Total voters
    71
Both players received a lot of hate from the tennis fans during their tennis careers.
McEnroe's outbursts on the court often went too far and were obviously very much disliked by the public. He is perhaps the most temperamental all-time-great tennis player of all time.
Djokovic, on the other hand, was never really this extreme and is actually a very nice and charismatic guy in general, but for some reason, he is treated with antagonism and disrespect from the media, crowd, fans etc.

So which tennis player received more hatred from the public during their careers, John McEnroe or Novak Djokovic?
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
McEnroe was huge in America and massively popular. He was huge in Asia too. There's absolutely no comparison to the unpopularity of Djokovic.

Substitute Lendl in your poll to make a valid comparison.

czechoslovakia-ivan-lendl-1986-us-open-september-15-1986-sports-illustrated-cover.jpg
 

Pheasant

Legend
McEnroe was huge in America and massively popular. He was huge in Asia too. There's absolutely no comparison to the unpopularity of Djokovic.

Substitute Lendl in your poll to make a valid comparison.

czechoslovakia-ivan-lendl-1986-us-open-september-15-1986-sports-illustrated-cover.jpg
You beat me to it. McEnroe had a huge following; myself included. The 1980 Wimbledon final allowed Mac to win over a lot more fans outside the U.S, despite that heart-breaking loss.
 

Lauren_Girl'

Professional
An umpteenth Djokovic popularity thread, tsk-tsk. I guess that now he's broken every single significant records, that's all you've left. Popularity contests.

What makes you think Djokovic is '' hated ''? You can't make such a strong generalization based on a bunch frustrated TTW posters and a handful of hypocrites booing him in Roland-Garros and Bercy. Most tennis players have been booed and humiliated by the French crowd at a moment or another. Even the most classy players get insulted by French crowds. The other crowds are respectful most of the time. Just because they cheer for the underdog doesn't mean they "hate" the other player. Federer and Nadal have millions of haters as well on social medias, it doesn't mean they're "hated" by the majority.

Can't tell for McEnroe, I was a bit too young for that. But there was no internet and no social medias in the 1980. So I think it's impossible to tell for sure if McEnroe had more fans than Borg, Laver, Lendl, Connors... A sample of a few thousands people in a tennis stadium is not enough to determine if A is more popular than B.

So your question is moot. ...
 

WYK

Hall of Fame
When I was a kid, everyone stateside loved McEnroe.
But everyone at Wimbledon, on the other hand...
 

Third Serve

Talk Tennis Guru
Both are still pretty popular but I’d say Djokovic. I get the impression from some older fans I’ve talked to that a lot of Americans loved Mac despite some of his antics.

Lendl though…
 

Mr.Lob

G.O.A.T.
McEnroe, by far. More so with the press. He was known as McBrat in the British press. People hate Djokovic because he's beaten Fed and Nadals records. For the most part, Djokovic has treated chair umpires and lines people respectfully, aa well as his opponents. McEnroe had many well known encounters with game officials where he was verbally abusive.
 

Mark-Touch

Legend
McEnroe was huge in America and massively popular. He was huge in Asia too. There's absolutely no comparison to the unpopularity of Djokovic.

Substitute Lendl in your poll to make a valid comparison.

czechoslovakia-ivan-lendl-1986-us-open-september-15-1986-sports-illustrated-cover.jpg
The timing of this thread is interesting.
I was preparing a similar thread (worded more diplomatically)
comparing Djokovic to Lendl.

It was going to go something like:
"Who do you think is/was more popular with the tennis fans, Djoker or Lendl (when he played)?"
 

The Sinner

Semi-Pro
You beat me to it. McEnroe had a huge following; myself included. The 1980 Wimbledon final allowed Mac to win over a lot more fans outside the U.S, despite that heart-breaking loss.
Didn’t follow tennis back in the 80s, hence just wondering why was Lendl disliked so much? Boring personality perhaps?
 

Pheasant

Legend
Didn’t follow tennis back in the 80s, hence just wondering why was Lendl disliked so much? Boring personality perhaps?
Some considered his play boring. McEnroe once said that he had more talent in his small finger than Lendl had in his entire body. 1987, when an interviewer asked if Mac could challenge him, Lendl was brutally honest. He said “Mac cannot beat me. He doesn’t have the speed or the ground strokes to trouble me.”

I think people hated his candor and his style of play. Also, he sometimes took a very long time to serve during pressure-packed moments.

I mainly hated him back then, because he became a winning machine after his diet was fixed at the end of the 1984 season. Looking back, I respect him now. But back then, he started destroying my hero. Oh yeah, and one time, Lendl was at the net. He had an easy chance At putting away an easy point to an empty court. Instead, he wound up and
Crushed Mac instead.
 

Pheasant

Legend
Oh yeah. And there was another time when Lendl was player Connors on clay. Lendl was smart. He knew that he could beat Connors on that surface by hitting moon balls every single time. Connors called him a f****-ing pusher during that match.

Lendl was smart; a very smart player. His slice backhand gave Connors fits later on. And he picked up a killer topspin lob, which was part of the reason why he came back from 2-0 on Mac to win the 1984 FO title.
 

The Sinner

Semi-Pro
Some considered his play boring. McEnroe once said that he had more talent in his small finger than Lendl had in his entire body. 1987, when an interviewer asked if Mac could challenge him, Lendl was brutally honest. He said “Mac cannot beat me. He doesn’t have the speed or the ground strokes to trouble me.”

I think people hated his candor and his style of play. Also, he sometimes took a very long time to serve during pressure-packed moments.

I mainly hated him back then, because he became a winning machine after his diet was fixed at the end of the 1984 season. Looking back, I respect him now. But back then, he started destroying my hero. Oh yeah, and one time, Lendl was at the net. He had an easy chance At putting away an easy point to an empty court. Instead, he wound up and
Crushed Mac instead.
You must have been shattered at RG ‘84! Mac almost had it in the bag.
 

Bill Lobsalot

Professional
McEnroe matches were entertaining. His beef with many lines calls were valid. We now have automation. He could have used more tact in his beefs with officials, but it made for good drama.

Novak is just an arrogant champion who doesn't understand why EVERYONE doesn't like him. His need to be loved makes him hard to root for.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
McEnroe was far more controversial in his day. Talented as he undeniably was he came across as petulant, angry and humourless. Big sea-change in his attitude these days. Now we can see he does have a sense of humour and can laugh at himself and his past antics. Frankly I don't understand all this hate towards Djokovic who seems to get stick just for beating Fed's and Rafa's records and and still being fitter than everyone else on tour and beating all the competition despite being almost twice their age.
 

ichaseballs

Professional
if you meet anyone from eastern europe, they will most likely be a novak fan.
i have met many novak fans. his fans in america obviously will be skewed vs johnny mac
 
McEnroe, by far. More so with the press. He was known as McBrat in the British press. People hate Djokovic because he's beaten Fed and Nadals records. For the most part, Djokovic has treated chair umpires and lines people respectfully, aa well as his opponents. McEnroe had many well known encounters with game officials where he was verbally abusive.
The people who dislike Djokovic have done so since long, long before he even looked like he would break records. Kind of a silly presentist argument…
 

Robert F

Hall of Fame
I think a lot of Mac Fans had a love hate relationship with him. They loved the passion he brought to the court, love how he played, loved he wouldn't take crap from anyone. They hated when he'd shut down games or go on tirades at times that made no sense. But people still enjoyed watching him. Drives me crazy when he was doing Pro-Ams and did the acting bit with his tirades. Just be real. As a kid, I was not a Mac Fan, ironically a Lendl fan.

Of the big 3, even other tennis legends, I've never seen anyone get booed as much or rarely be the crowd favorite in almost any head to head than Djokovic.
In the US, tennis fans will talk passionately about Federer or Nadal. People respect Djoker's game, but yet I cannot find a tennis fan that is a die hard Djoker fan. I think part of it is that he took the records away from everyone's beloved champion be it Fed or Nadal. I also think some of his off court decisions, the way the media portrays him and his game style have also impacted his public image. I also wonder if many see his discipline off putting and hard to relate to. Federer could charm you and giggle. Nadal comes off as innocent and humble. Djoker on the surface comes of as always on guard. Playing wise Fed was the graceful ballerina and Rafa brings an invigorating passion to the court. Djoker plays perfect clean tennis that appears low risk--smart and has made him the goat but not as daring as his contemporaries. I think it is unfortunate because despite my frustration with some of his non-tennis decisions, he is a master of his craft, dedicated to his fellow tennis player and seems to be caring of others (yet struggles to convey this).
 

Arak

Legend
People hate/dislike Djokovic for none of the reasons mentioned above. It’s just his on court attitude that sucks. Off the court, by all accounts, he is the loveliest guy ever. But on court, the face expressions he makes, always looking angry at something, and his very poor charisma in general. Breaking rackets, shouting at ball kids, and throwing boobs around don’t help. I think he has a Jekyll and Hyde personality, on and off the court.
 

Hypo Crisis

Professional
Both players received a lot of hate from the tennis fans during their tennis careers.
McEnroe's outbursts on the court often went too far and were obviously very much disliked by the public. He is perhaps the most temperamental all-time-great tennis player of all time.
Djokovic, on the other hand, was never really this extreme and is actually a very nice and charismatic guy in general, but for some reason, he is treated with antagonism and disrespect from the media, crowd, fans etc.

So which tennis player received more hatred from the public during their careers, John McEnroe or Novak Djokovic?
For some reason he is treated with disrespect. Some reason - Fedal inability to embrace 3rd equal
 

Enceladus

Legend
McEnroe was huge in America and massively popular. He was huge in Asia too. There's absolutely no comparison to the unpopularity of Djokovic.

Substitute Lendl in your poll to make a valid comparison.

czechoslovakia-ivan-lendl-1986-us-open-september-15-1986-sports-illustrated-cover.jpg
And why? Because McEnroe is an American, a domestic player, while Lendl is a Czech, coming from communist Czechoslovakia. Lendl's popularity was negatively affected by his origin from the Eastern Bloc.

Djokovic's popularity is also negatively affected by the fact that Nole is not from Western countries, otherwise he would be more popular..
 

thrust

Legend
Djokovic. Mac was beloved here in America regardless, with the stupid jingoistic thing.
Well, I am an American who despised Mac's on court behavior. Novak is loved in Serbia, but Serbia is a much smaller country than the US. Whatever, Novak has the most important records, Mac very few if any.
 

Open Stance

Professional
Didn’t follow tennis back in the 80s, hence just wondering why was Lendl disliked so much? Boring personality perhaps?
Lendl was very robotic in his play and personality. Since he came from Czechoslovakia, the was a little bit of Cold War era villain about him as well (despite the fact he became a U.S. citizen during his career).
 

Razer

Legend
At their level even being hated is better than not being remembered.

If I am a celeb then given a choice of being booed or just not being cared/forgotten then I would picked being booed, at least the audience are invested in a negative way, even negative publicity is better than no publicity.

I think Mcenroe was liked and hated by some, Lendl was probably more on a not cared for category (?) for more people while Djokovic is a bit more of a heel/villain like character......like a Big bad wolf....
 

Open Stance

Professional
The McEnroe we hear in the broadcast booth is not the same guy playing back in the 80s. He was a much bigger jerk back then. But he won and he was a tennis genius so people - myself included - found his antics very entertaining and even funny. There was never ever a dull tennis match with John McEnroe on the court.
 

fedfan24

Hall of Fame
Is djokovic really “hated”? I find him cringey sometimes, some of his on court antics can be unpleasant and it’s boring him winning everything with no competition but wouldn’t hate him for it.
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
McEnroe was far more controversial in his day. Talented as he undeniably was he came across as petulant, angry and humourless. Big sea-change in his attitude these days. Now we can see he does have a sense of humour and can laugh at himself and his past antics. Frankly I don't understand all this hate towards Djokovic who seems to get stick just for beating Fed's and Rafa's records and and still being fitter than everyone else on tour and beating all the competition despite being almost twice their age.
See I disagree. McEnroe was never deported from a country like Djokovic was with the Australian Open due to his anti vaccine stance. McEnroe was a villain and had the tarnished brand but for me, it doesn’t compare to the last 3 years of Djokovic. From the default by hitting a ball at a lineswoman to becoming the face of the anti vaccine movement to breaking the law and spreading Covid. Djokovic is definitely more hated by the public I’d say.
 
'Hated' is a strong term. I think a very small percentage of people 'hated' these guys. I'd say a few disliked them and had strong opinions about them at a push.
Hate would be reserved for someone who actually did you personal harm.
I think people who throw the word 'hater' around never experienced much adversity.
 

Open Stance

Professional
See I disagree. McEnroe was never deported from a country like Djokovic was with the Australian Open due to his anti vaccine stance. McEnroe was a villain and had the tarnished brand but for me, it doesn’t compare to the last 3 years of Djokovic. From the default by hitting a ball at a lineswoman to becoming the face of the anti vaccine movement to breaking the law and spreading Covid. Djokovic is definitely more hated by the public I’d say.
Huh? It seems like you are really reaching for reasons to hate Djokovic. We all know the lineswoman incident was a complete accident for which he was severely punished (excessively in many people's eyes). He never asked to be the face of the anti-vaccine movement and quite honestly his position on that looks more justified as time goes on and we realize that the vaccines didn't really work that well and have some potential side effects. How exactly did he "spread" Covid? Because he tried to hold a tournament to give some players a chance to make a pay check when all other tournaments were cancelled? The deportation was mostly politically driven by Australian government officials. And what laws did he break?

McEnroe - as much as I loved him back in the day - was a vulgar jerk. He was kicked out of tournaments. Received numerous fines. Suspended from the tour. Kicked off the Davis Cup team for a year. Lost his honorary membership of London's Queen's Club for abusing chairman's wife while practicing. Admitting to taking performance enhancing drugs.
 

CoolCoolCool

Hall of Fame
At their level even being hated is better than not being remembered.

If I am a celeb then given a choice of being booed or just not being cared/forgotten then I would picked being booed, at least the audience are invested in a negative way, even negative publicity is better than no publicity.

I think Mcenroe was liked and hated by some, Lendl was probably more on a not cared for category (?) for more people while Djokovic is a bit more of a heel/villain like character......like a Big bad wolf....
Unbelievably dumb thing to say, but that's pretty much like your entire post history.
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
McEnroe was far more controversial in his day.
True, but the OP was erroneously claiming Mac was hated, which is just absurd. The only two truly unpopular (or hated) #1 players of the past 50 years were Lendl and Djokovic outside of Serbia. Lendl didn't care, Novak cares deeply.

But Mac was rock star popular and not just in America. His putrid behavior on and off court has nothing to do with the topic of his popularity.
 

Razer

Legend
Unbelievably dumb thing to say, but that's pretty much like your entire post history.

A repulsive fake low IQ troll like you with a dumb name "CoolCoolCool" should refrain from passing personal remarks. Go back to your basement instead of boring with me with your uninteresting comments to seek my attention. Loser, don't you have anything better to do in life than pass comments on posters ?
 

CoolCoolCool

Hall of Fame
A repulsive fake low IQ troll like you with a dumb name "CoolCoolCool" should refrain from passing personal remarks. Go back to your basement instead of boring with me with your uninteresting comments to seek my attention. Loser, don't you have anything better to do in life than pass comments on posters ?
Your post was stupid, but I wouldn't even have bothered replying to it had you not asked for it. And you perfectly know why I did it, but keep being the hypocrite you are (you've joined only a year ago and wrote more than 6k posts btw). Nobody takes your low-quality posts seriously anyway.
 

Razer

Legend
Your post was stupid, but I wouldn't even have bothered replying to it had you not asked for it. And you perfectly know why I did it, but keep being the hypocrite

Asked for it ? Lol, when a troll like you feels like it is getting asked to reply then it is the first indication that you have no real life, it should be a cause of worry to you. How old are you? Retired? No real work to do other than "getting asked to reply" ? I have been ignoring your posts (not actual ttw ignore button one, just scrolling past) for a while now because I find you uninteresting, snooty, whining daily and also a poster who is too cynical on a daily basis. It is way too cringe for me to even indulge with. So do me a favour and stop bothering me with your uninvited vestigial responses.

t keep being the hypocrite you are (you've joined only a year ago and wrote more than 6k posts btw). Nobody takes your low-quality posts seriously anyway.

Apparently you do loser, that's why you wanna reply and you are feeling like I "asked for it" despite me never even replying to your cringe posts. You also think 6K posts is a lot, but I don't, it is like 16-17 comments a day, people like me multi task like you breathe, I cannot think as slow as you even if I wanted to old man. Go and spend your time in an old age home or bother someone of your age group, go away.
 
D

Deleted member 629564

Guest
[content deleted by user]
 
Last edited by a moderator:

CoolCoolCool

Hall of Fame
Asked for it ? Lol, when a troll like you feels like it is getting asked to reply then it is the first indication that you have no real life, it should be a cause of worry to you. How old are you? Retired? No real work to do other than "getting asked to reply" ? I have been ignoring your posts (not actual ttw ignore button one, just scrolling past) for a while now because I find you uninteresting, snooty, whining daily and also a poster who is too cynical on a daily basis. It is way too cringe for me to even indulge with. So do me a favour and stop bothering me with your uninvited vestigial responses.



Apparently you do loser, that's why you wanna reply and you are feeling like I "asked for it" despite me never even replying to your cringe posts. You also think 6K posts is a lot, but I don't, it is like 16-17 comments a day, people like me multi task like you breathe, I cannot think as slow as you even if I wanted to old man. Go and spend your time in an old age home or bother someone of your age group, go away.
south-park-poop.gif


Keep pretending you don't know what I'm talking about lol. Just don't act surprised when you provoke people for no reason and have to suffer the consequences afterwards. We're done here.
 

Razer

Legend
south-park-poop.gif


Keep pretending you don't know what I'm talking about lol. Just don't act surprised when you provoke people for no reason and have to suffer the consequences afterwards. We're done here.

Pretend? Lol, I do not have to pretend here. You have been repeatedly seeking my attention for a long time by poking me by quoting me despite me not replying. I have been not replying to you because I am good at scrolling past until someone is directly poking again and again.

I know what you are talking about. I gave a thumbs up to this comment from this user, and it bothered you ? Ohh yeah, I liked this comment because I really understand how annoyed he must be when he gets replies to his comments that are poking in nature. You think I liked it for his 2500 messages comment when I know I myself have 6,000 ? LOL....I understood what angered him/her, more than your unattractive profile or number of comments, it is your poking nature which angered him/her. That is why i liked it too which was a mere agreement to his/her feeling, nothing more.

Welcome to my ignore list,
 
Last edited:
Top