Novak Djokovic: ‘I played superbly up to that point but…’

Novak Djokovic’s season has been complicated due to his decision not to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus. The Serbian phenomenon had to miss the Australian Open and the US Open, in addition to suffering serious image damage. For the same reason, the former world number 1 could not participate in the American Masters 1000 (Indian Wells, Miami, Montreal and Cincinnati). After the disappointment of Roland Garros, Nole redeemed himself by triumphing at Wimbledon for the fourth consecutive time (seventh in history). In addition to equaling his idol Pete Sampras, the 35-year-old from Belgrade closed the distance that separates him from Rafael Nadal in the classification of all Slams. The Serbian will play the Paris-Bercy Masters 1000 and the Turin ATP Finals in this last part of the season, waiting to find out if he will be able to travel to Australia next January. The 21-time Slam champion revealed that his lawyers are in contact with the Australian authorities and that he should receive a response in the coming weeks. Djokovic will use the Paris-Bercy Masters 1000 as a test before the ATP Finals. The Serbian holds many records related to the Bercy tournament. Nole has won six titles in the French capital, three of them in a row. Goran Ivanisevic’s protégé is the defending champion and has won the most matches at Bercy (41). In the latest edition of the ‘Inside-In’ podcast, betting expert Pamela Maldonado analyzed Novak’s chances of winning the last 1000 of the season for the seventh time: “When you make a bet, you try to aim for something that is quite safe or at least very likely. Novak Djokovic is the player who has won the most titles at Paris-Bercy, as well as being the defending champion. He has always played great tennis in this tournament, the surface is perfect for him.

Nole is still motivated

Novak Djokovic remains on course to become Tennis’ most decorated man despite falling behind Rafael Nadal in Grand Slam wins after a problematic 2022 marred by the inability to enter either the Australian or US Open. Djokovic feels that he was ill-prepared for the Tokyo Games, which came at the beginning of the hard court season. “An Olympic medal, especially gold, is always a big wish,” Novak Djokovic told Radio Television of Serbia. “I rewound my match with Zverev in Tokyo many times, trying to figure out what went wrong,” he said. “I played superbly up to that point, but I did feel I was running on fumes, both mentally and physically.”