‘Novak Djokovic has been carrying it on his shoulders all year’, says top coach

Novak Djokovic has undoubtedly been the most dominant player of the last decade (and perhaps of all time). The world number 1 failed to complete the job at the US Open, losing sharply in the final to Daniil Medvedev and seeing the dream of the Grand Slam vanish one step away from the finish line. Physically and mentally exhausted, the Belgrade veteran has never entered the game, falling under the blows of an opponent in a state of grace and returning from a rather easy path. The 34-year-old Serbian had had to stay on the pitch for more than 17 hours, spread over the previous six rounds, against just 11 for the young Russian. At least for the moment, Nole therefore remains paired with eternal rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at 20 Grand Slams. The Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd did their best to propel Djokovic towards the feat, showing him for the first time the support that Novak has desired throughout his career. The tears shed during the last change of pitch will remain one of the most moving images of recent years. Through his Twitter profile, Patrick Mouratoglou expressed his opinion on the progress of the men’s final.

Mouratoglou on Novak Djokovic

Yesterday, Novak Djokovic lost to Daniil Medvedev in the final of the US Open 2021. In doing so, he missed out on the chance to create further greatness, winning all four Majors in a calendar year. Coach Patrick Mouratoglou felt the pressure riding on the Serb may have altered his form in the final. The 50-year-old spoke on this and stated, “History is heavy. Novak has been carrying it on his shoulders all year long and has felt isolated in his quest. Yesterday he felt support for the first time but too late. Huge congratulations to Daniil Medvedev for playing an atomic level of tennis! Well deserved.” Novak Djokovic was asked again in the aftermath of his US Open defeat whether the younger players were finally ready to join the head of the table. The Serb replied that although the older players – Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and himself – are “still hanging on”, Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem’s US Open triumphs are evidence that things are about to change. “The older guys are still hanging on. We’re still trying to shine the light on the tennis world as much as we possibly can,” Novak Djokovic said. “But the new generation, if you want to call them this way, is not anymore new. It’s already current, established. Of course, they are going to take over.”