Novak Djokovic’s absence from the ATP Awards nomination list has once again left fans fuming, similar to last year’s disappointment. This year’s nomination, especially for the Sportsmanship Award, has stirred up additional anger among fans, especially with the surprising inclusion of Carlos Alcaraz for this award.
Djokovic, despite being considered the best player globally, seems to face repeated omissions, sparking questions about the fairness of the selection process. The nomination announcement triggered a wave of criticism from Djokovic’s supporters, who took to social media to express their discontent.
One fan highlighted a specific incident during the 2023 Cincinnati Masters final between Alcaraz and Djokovic, where Alcaraz’s angry outburst led to him repeatedly hitting his hand on the chair, which led to a subsequent need for medical attention. The fan posted a clip on social media of that match and stated, “He needed medical treatment to his cut hand after he did this.”
The media told us that Djokovic isn’t nominated for the ATP sportsmanship award as he is too “angry” on court. Today they very same Tennis media have shortlisted Alcaraz for the same award.
He needed medical treatment to his cut hand after he did this. pic.twitter.com/ZekkhPnvN7
— Pavvy G (@pavyg) November 29, 2023
Expressing his anguish, the fan said that the same tennis media that nominated Alcaraz had rejected Djokovic as he was “too angry” on the court. One of the fans outrightly rejected the legitimacy of the ATP Awards, with one stating, “I have words no more! These Awards are garbage! They don’t deserve a generous and altruistic man like Novak! Novak is the Top, they are the Bottom!”
I have words no more! These Awards are garbage! They don’t deserve a generous and altruistic man like Novak! Novak is the Top, they are the Bottom!
— Mikikant (@mikikant_liber) November 29, 2023
The frustration extended to one Novak fan expressing concerns about bias and animosity towards Slavic tennis players, particularly Russians and Serbians, from Western tennis associations and dismissing them as politically motivated.
hate from West and there tennis associations regarding Slavic tennis players no matter how much successful slavic tennis players are they will never acknowledge slavic success. They have a pure hatred for Russians, Serbians. Novak is the best player in the world, but they will…
— Nikola Tesla (@MMMDimitrijevic) November 29, 2023
The continuous omission of Novak Djokovic, the reigning world No. 1, from all categories of the ATP Awards for the last two years has sparked a broader outcry, leaving fans furious and perplexed about why organizers have overlooked him repeatedly.
A look at ATP Awards categories and its nominations
The ATP Awards annually honor outstanding athletes and coaches through a system of nominations by tennis journalists and voting by players and coaches. As nominees have already been unveiled for the 2023 ATP Awards, let’s delve into various categories’ nominees and our choices:
Most Improved Player of the Year
Jannik Sinner emerges as a strong contender in this category, having achieved a career-high No. 4 in the ATP Rankings and securing four titles from seven finals. The 22-year-old faces competition from Italian Davis Cup teammate Matteo Arnaldi and Americans Christopher Eubanks and Ben Shelton.
Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award
In the running for this sportsmanship accolade, our choice, Jannik Sinner, receives a nomination alongside first-time contenders Carlos Alcaraz, Grigor Dimitrov, and Hubert Hurkacz. The award recognizes players who exemplify the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, and fair play on and off the court.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) November 29, 2023
Newcomer of the Year
Arthur Fils, the top seed at the Next Gen ATP Finals, stands out among the five nominees for Newcomer of the Year. This category celebrates emerging players who broke into the Top 100 for the first time in 2023. The other nominees on the list include Flavio Cobolli, Alex Michelsen, Dominic Stricker, and Luca Van Assche.
Comeback Player of the Year
Players who have overcome serious injuries to re-establish themselves on the ATP Tour are recognized in this category. Dominik Koepfer, Gael Monfils, Jan-Lennard Struff, and Alexander Zverev compete for the coveted Comeback Player of the Year title. Our pick is Gael Monfils.
Coach of the Year
The Coach of the Year category features prominent coaches who played a pivotal role in guiding players to higher-level performance. Nominations include Craig Boynton (Hubert Hurkacz), Juan Carlos Ferrero (Carlos Alcaraz), Goran Ivanisevic (Novak Djokovic), and Bryan Shelton (Ben Shelton). Our money is on Ivanisevic, who has contributed to Djokovic’s immense success.