Novak Djokovic has paid the consequences of his choice not to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus. The Serbian champion was unable to defend the title at the Australian Open and ended up at the center of a soap opera that caused him serious damage to his image. The world number 1 made his season debut in Dubai but failed to make it past the quarter-finals. Due to strict US regulations, the 34-year-old from Belgrade also had to skip the Masters 1000 in Indian Wells and Miami. Nole then took part in the Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo and the ATP 250 in Belgrade, showing a physical condition far from 100%. The 20-time Grand Slam champion will use the Madrid and Rome tournaments as his final tests ahead of Roland Garros, where he will be called upon to defend the title he won last year. His main opponents will be Rafael Nadal, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and Carlos Alcaraz, a great revelation of this start of the season. On the Tennis Channel’s microphones, Mark Knowles analyzed Novak’s prospects.
Knowles opens up on Djokovic
“We’ve seen Novak Djokovic of course, we’ve attached him to being super human for so long, what an incredible champion, just a physical machine. But, you know, after securing a very gritty second set, at home, where you think you’d get a little bit more energy, a little bit more inspiration, he just went away. But like I said once again, it’s come out that he’s been battling with illness, so clearly, physically he is not where he wants to be”, Knowles stated. Knowles also said that he is not writing off the 34-year-old and that we could see a different version of him during Roland Garros. “I’m not discounting Novak Djokovic, that’s for sure, I know we’re going to see an entirely different one, when it comes to, maybe before the French, but definitely during the French, we’re going to see a different Novak Djokovic.” So far, world no.1, Novak Djokovic, had a pretty rough year in terms of playing time on the tour. Recently, he played in the Serbian Open and reached the final of that tournament. Unfortunately, he lost to Andrey Rublev in three sets. Despite losing, he had a pretty special moment at the end of the match. In the final match, the 20-time Grand Slam champion lost to Rublev by, 6-2,6-7,6-0. However, the loss had very little effect on Novak, as he celebrated with his former teammates after the match.