‘Novak Djokovic must have been heartbroken’, says former No.1

Novak Djokovic closed the season a few days ago with his sixth ATP Finals title (record shared with Federer). The Serbian star’s 2022 was inevitably conditioned by his decision not to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus and this decision prevented him from participating in some of the most important and representative tournaments of the tennis season, such as the Australian Open and the US Open. Despite this, the 21-time Grand Slam champion managed to “save” his season by lifting his seventh Wimbledon, fourth in a row, the Internazionali di Roma, and his sixth “Masters” title. Nole told the press conference after the awards ceremony in Turin that he was still hungry for titles and records. His coach, Goran Ivanisevic, digs into his statement and tries to explain the secrets that lead the Balkan record man to remain so incredibly competitive: “Novak trains even harder than when he was 22 years old. That’s why he’s still so good and that’s why he’s showing that he’s still the best. The will to train, to improve, to be the best is absurd. He is taking care of his body. In my time, tennis players stopped at 30, 31 years old. At that age you were already old. But now it’s amazing. Look at Roger a couple of years ago, look at Rafa.” Then the coach continued: “The young players are coming up. It’s great for tennis. We have the youngest number 1 in the world and he has done incredible things this year, Carlos Alcaraz. But he looks at Novak, he is still hungry, he is still winning tournaments, he plays fantastic tennis.”

Nole Djokovic won the Finals in Turin

The debate over who will finish as the greatest tennis player of all time (GOAT) is “alive again” now that Novak Djokovic will be able to play at the Australian Open again, according to Mats Wilander. “It’s obviously really important for him [Djokovic’s Australian Open inclusion],” the tennis analyst told Eurosport. “We had to guess last time he wasn’t allowed in Australia. He must have been heartbroken. We have no idea how he felt because he was very good at hiding it. For the game, this is most probably the most single important piece of news since Covid-19 hit the first time, because we were stuck in this race between the biggest, greatest three players of all time on the men’s side, with three different contrasting styles coming up at different times. Roger pushing the envelope, Nadal pushing Roger and then Novak coming to kind of ‘spoil the party’. If Novak had not been allowed [to play unvaccinated], the history of our game would have become completely irrelevant. The numbers of Grand Slams would have become completely irrelevant if Novak wasn’t able to play anymore.”