OKBET allsports : As Novak Djokovic reached set point in the first set of his final against Casper Ruud on Sunday, Tennis Channel analyst Jim Courier stated, “It doesn’t matter how you get there, it’s that you get there.”
It’s possible that Courier was alluding to Djokovic’s whole last weekend in Turin. When facing Daniil Medvedev, Taylor Fritz, and Ruud, the Serb seemed lightheaded, out of breath, and weary. His hand was trembling during a changeover, and he had to lean on his sideline bench to steady himself after a long point. Medvedev kept an eye on him on Friday to see whether he would skip their round robin encounter. In order to make sure he was doing OK on Sunday, Ruud checked in with him.
And Djokovic was more than fine. He was undefeated at the ATP Finals on Sunday afternoon, and he was carrying the trophy for the first time since 2015. In fact, with his sixth victory, he joined Roger Federer in all-time victory totals for this tournament. He was undefeated this week, losing just one set against opponents ranked No. 3, 4, 7, 8, and 9.
I don’t know what to say. When questioned about his physical problems, Djokovic stated, “I have a wonderful physio.” I am fortunate to work with a fantastic group of people. I’ve found certain habits that aid in my recuperation and work extremely well for me.
Djokovic claims to follow a regimen in his head as well.
Because there’s always that one voice in your head saying you, “You can’t do it; you’re too weary; this and that,” etc. …he made the following remark. We have the villain and the hero. The goal is to make the good person bigger and louder than the evil guy. The answer is as easy as that.
Eventually, Djokovic’s “good guy” side triumphs. Physical traces of hardship disappeared by the 12th game of the first set against Ruud, and great shot-making emerged. Djokovic stepped boosted the pace of his groundstrokes and became more aggressive. The combination led to Djokovic’s hallmark shot of the day—an all-or-nothing forehand that caught the sideline for a scorching winner—and seemed to catapult his confidence to new heights for the remainder of the match. His confidence in going down the line and finding the corners increased during the second set.
Djokovic’s health has understandably been the focus of much of the discussion around his win this week. After this last exam, however, I realized that the same qualities that had always set him apart also set him apart: The way he hits the ball, plus the fact that he has no real flaws. At the age of 35, he has all the qualities that made him a top-five talent when he was 19: His ability to shift directions and travel down the line at will, along with his massive trunk rotation on the backhand, his deceptively heavy but safe crosscourt forehand, and his versatility on the court.
When it seemed like Djokovic was beginning to wobble in the first set, Ruud sent a booming backhand through the center of the court. What does Djokovic have to say in response? He hit a disdainful crosscourt forehand that resulted in a chilly winner on the sideline.
“Of sure, I always think of myself as the greatest player in the world,” Djokovic, who will end 2022 in fifth place, said. That’s the way I think, and it’s how I approach things. It doesn’t matter who’s on the other side of the net, what the court’s like, what time of year it is, or how many seasons into my professional career we’re up against; it’s always the same.
In light of “the conditions I’ve gone through this year,” Djokovic called winning this championship “very fulfilling” and “a big relief.”
It’s difficult to imagine a greater contrast between how an athlete started and finished a season: Due to his early-year expulsion from Australia, Djokovic was ineligible to compete in the US Open or any of the three other Masters 1000 tournaments hosted in the United States. The fact that he went 42-7, ended at No. 5 in the rankings, and won Wimbledon and the ATP Finals is impressive.
But Djokovic brought his own issues onto himself. If he had agreed to have the Covid vaccine, he may have played professionally in Australia and the United States. Since the epidemic has (somewhat) abated, the 11-month-long anxiety regarding vaccination has subsided, and Australia has decided to welcome Djokovic back in January. His reception in Australia will be interesting to see. I mean, really, would you lay money on him winning his 22nd Grand Slam trophy in Melbourne?
Djokovic will be 20 in 2022, and that’s something to be cherished. Not because of any heroic struggles or a return from exile, but because he performed what he has always done so effectively. He forgot about his failures and went on with his life. He set his sights on reclaiming the top spot in the autumn rankings by winning the one major he was considered a heavy favorite to win. Most notably, he maintained displaying the most complete and faultless game in men’s tennis, while also hitting the top shots. He gave up trying to be number one a year ago, but now he seems like…number one again.
Absolutely, it’s the passion for the game. Passion. Djokovic said, “I have a deep appreciation for the sport.” It’s worth a shot, right? Just imagine it, right?