Peter Bodo: “Novak Djokovic is still paying for the start of the season”

Speaking to the Tennis Channel, well-known journalist Peter Bodo analyzed Novak Djokovic’s performance in the Spanish capital.

The Serb was defeated by Carlos Alcaraz in the first semifinal of the Mutua Madrid Open. The two have given life to the best match of 2022, at least so far. Despite the painful comeback suffered at the Caja Magica, the world number 1 has made significant progress compared to Monte Carlo and Belgrade.

The Serbian champion had to deal with several difficulties at the start of the season, especially thanks to his choice not to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus. In addition to not being able to defend the title at the Australian Open, the 20-time Grand Slam champion also suffered serious damage to his image.

As if that weren’t enough, Nole had to watch helplessly as Rafael Nadal’s triumph at Melbourne Park. The Spaniard has thus overtaken Roger Federer and Djokovic himself in the all-time ranking of the Majors. The 34-year-old from Belgrade will ‘use’ the Masters 1000 in Rome as the last test before Roland Garros, where he will be called upon to defend the title he won last year.

Djokovic has already arrived in Rome

Bodo said: “Despite the semi-final defeat to Carlos Alcaraz, it was a great week for Novak Djokovic. Given his condition, it would have been useful to play the game against Andy Murray as well. Nole needs to put as many matches in her legs as possible for Roland Garros. The battle against Alcaraz was fantastic and allowed Nole to understand that he is on the right road.”

Bodo then went into detail: “Although Novak has shown progress, we don’t know what his form is really like. Any player tells you that he is working hard or something, but the reality is more complex. The vaccine controversy had a great impact on him, with significant physical and psychological repercussions:”

The Belgrade veteran will be busy this week at the Foro Italico in Rome. The first obstacle in Djokovic’s path will be the Russian Aslan Karatsev.