Novak Djokovic improved his season by winning the ATP Finals for the sixth time. In addition to equaling Roger Federer’s record, the Serbian phenom showed that he is still the man to beat. This year, the former world number 1 paid dearly for his decision not to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus, having to miss the Australian Open and the US Open.
The ugly Australian soap opera also caused him serious image damage, destabilizing him a lot mentally. We only saw the real Nole again at Wimbledon, where he won for the fourth time in a row (the seventh in history). The 35-year-old from Belgrade equaled his idol Pete Sampras and reached 21 Slams, just one shy of Rafael Nadal’s all-time record.
The Serb will try to catch up already at the 2023 Australian Open, where he will hunt his tenth seal. In the latest edition of the ‘Court N°1’ podcast on RMC, Gilles Simon said that many players do not adopt the correct tactic against Djokovic.
“What I don’t understand when I watch Novak Djokovic’s matches is why his opponents don’t insist on his weaknesses. The Serbian is not that strong near the net and almost always struggles when he has to hit.
He sometimes gets away from him, while other times he does it at two an hour. We’ve had 20 years to realize it,” Simon said. “I watched the match between Djokovic and Tsitsipas in Bercy, where it was a couple of points that made the difference.
If the Greek had played the decisive points differently, maybe he would have won. If you force your opponent to play in zones of the track you don’t like, you’ll make more mistakes and lose confidence even in your strong areas.”
Nole reflects on the media manipulation
During the interview Novak Djokovic also stated he was interested in raising awareness about things that are ‘wrong’ with tennis, even though he wanted nothing to do with politics in general.
“Everything to do with health, for example. But I’m also interested in talking about what’s wrong with the world of tennis,” Djokovic said. “A sport that in terms of popularity and diffusion comes second only to football and basketball in the NBA, which is followed and practiced everywhere, even in China there are many fields, but which gives a living to just 500 people: does it seem possible to you? Here too the manipulation of the media has something to do with it: we are only talking about the 2 or 3 million that someone who wins a Grand Slam earns, and not about the thousands of players all over the world who don’t have the possibility of making a job out of it,” Djokovic said.
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