Until the collapse in the semifinals of the Olympic Games, the world was forced to write hymns and admire Novak Djokovic's game. After the defeat in Tokyo, and even in the final of the US Open by Daniil Medvedev, all those who had to keep silent while Novak won won suddenly became loud.
Among them is Nicola Pietrangeli, a two-time winner of Roland Garros, a member of the Tennis Hall of Fame, who does not hide that Roger Federer is the best of all time for him. He says he is from another planet. But when he talks about Djokovic, he does not mention tennis qualities, but - money.
Because even though tennis has always been considered an elite sport, Pietrangeli suddenly started to speak about the money that goes into that game. True, the sums available to tennis players today, at least the best ones, cannot be compared to those from the time when Nicola Pietrangeli played.
It was still in the 50s and 60s of the last century. "I loved tennis. And I became good. In the late 50s and 60s, I won 44 tournaments, four of which were Roland Garros, twice in singles and twice in doubles." "The best players of that time respected me, we were friends, played and had fun.
And the audience. Today, players don't care about the audience, they only think about money." "Each ball is worth several thousand dollars. I couldn't even buy an apartment from the awards for winning Roland Garros ", says Pietrangeli
And here, he started talking about Novak Djokovic, who received a little less than 1,500,000 euros this year, "only" for the title at the Paris Grand Slam.
"Today, they get more than 2,000,000 dollars for winning the Grand Slam, and that's where I get angry. Djokovic, for example, has $ 500,000,000 in the bank and goes out to play the finals under stress? Are we kidding?" "Tennis has become a game of nerves for billionaires, and players are war machines.
From what do they have stress, from counting money? When I hear that they are depressed, I get annoyed ", said Pietrangeli, although he is politically incorrect for today's conditions. However, Djokovic never complained about depression.
But there are some players like Naomi Osaka ... It is obvious that mental health has not been a taboo topic in the last century. In the last few years, the accent has been placed on mental health and that is why most athletes decide to open up.