‘With all the expectations on himself, Novak Djokovic must…’, says legend

Since last October, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have played two games at Roland Garros, with the Spaniard winning the first and the Serbian imposing in the second. Rafa defeated Novak 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 in October 2020 to claim his 20th Major crown and 13th of 16 trips to Paris! The Spaniard made a great start in this year’s semi-final against the Serbian, who was ready to endure all the challenges and beat the clay king 3-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2 after four hours. and 11 minutes and advance to the sixth final of Roland Garros. Two great rivals fought like lions in the first three sets, with Rafa squandering a set point in the third and disappearing from the court in the fourth after sustaining a foot injury that ruined his season. Novak’s coach Goran Ivanisevic didn’t panic at 0-5 in the first set, he didn’t even think about last year’s final and knowing that his student would find a way to get back into the fight! As it turned out, Djokovic turned things around shortly after that and controlled the scoreboard to knock down a great rival for his most precious victory in Paris. After five straight losses to Nadal on the slower surface, Djokovic was ready to go one step further and defeat the most formidable opponent in his kingdom, relying on his game and physical strength.

Becker on Novak Djokovic

Boris Becker recently spoke at length about his former ward Novak Djokovic, pointing out how the Serb is often portrayed as the “bad guy”. Given his Calendar Slam ambitions, Novak Djokovic was constantly on edge during the fortnight in New York. It wasn’t surprising that he found the going even tougher during the final, as he was just one match away from the elusive feat. “With all the expectations on himself, he must have been asked every day since Wimbledon whether he would win the Grand Slam or become the record holder with 21 Majors,” Becker said. “It came over him, so to speak. His speech after the event was all the more remarkable. Still with wet eyes he explained to the New Yorkers, ‘today is the most beautiful day of my life, because finally I feel that I am respected and loved’. And this on a day when he could not take advantage of what might have been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win all the Majors in one year,” the German added.