Andrew Castle: Novak Djokovic can be even better when everyone is against him

Andrew Castle said he would not be surprised if Novak Djokovic won the Australian Open. 

Djokovic arrived to Australia late and then spent a couple of days in detention before his visa was reinstated. 

“I wouldn’t be surprised,” Castle told Sky Sports News, when asked about Djokovic’s chances of winning the Australian Open.

“He’s such a stubborn and hard-working guy on court, if he gets this exemption and if the Australian government don’t supersede the court, I would say that he’s going to tee it up and play.

“If he can get through two, three, four rounds, and play his way into the tournament – we know how good he is – I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him into the second week of this grand slam once again, because he is so stubborn and so good.

“When it’s time, and the bell rings, he’ll be ready to compete. Sometimes Novak can be even better when everyone is against him than when everyone is for him.”

‘Djokovic to face a hostile reception’ 

Djokovic received a medical exemption for the Australian Open and Castle fears the Serb will face a hostile reception when he goes out to Rod Laver Arena to play. 

“When it comes to the crowd reaction, I suspect they’ll boo him roundly when he comes out on court and I think the whole thing will turn into a massive pantomime,” Castle said.

“But let’s make no mistake, Covid is not to be fooled with, Omicron is not to be fooled with, but the Australians, many of them are absolutely terrified. They’re undergoing a huge wave over there and this is a man who, waving his medical exemption around, said ‘I’m on my way down’.”

Djokovic is a record nine-time Australian Open champion and he has won the tournament’s last three editions.