Novak Djokovic trains with UCLA students ahead of Indian Wells

The Serbian champion delighted the Californian students in a fantastic training session

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Novak Djokovic trains with UCLA students ahead of Indian Wells

"Greetings to all tennis fans from the BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells, California. It's 2024 and the last time I played this tournament was in 2019. It's been five long years, too long without being part of the Tennis Paradise tournament. One of the best tournaments in the world without a doubt, probably the favorite Masters 1000 of many players, including myself.

I can't wait to come back and play in front of some of the best fans we have on Tour again. I think back to 2008, the first time I won the title at Indian Wells - one of the biggest successes of my career at that time.

I remember playing against Fish in the final. I was lucky to have won the tournament four more times playing some epic matches in the final against Federer and Nadal. I'm really looking forward to coming back."

With these words, Novak Djokovic introduced himself at the media day of the BNP Paribas Open. Five years have passed since the last match played by the Serb at the ATP Masters 1000 in Indian Wells.

Novak Djokovic delighted the UCLA students

The pause imposed by the pandemic, the decision to move the tournament to October 2021 and the entry rules in force in the United States during the last two editions have somehow hindered the presence of the Serbian champion.

Djokovic can't wait to return to compete in a tournament that he has won five times in his career. From the first success obtained in 2008 by beating Mardy Fish to the epic finals against Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal: Djokovic remembered some of his most important victories.

Meanwhile Novak Djokovic entertained a packed crowd at UCLA with a gripping tennis session The 36-year-old gave the UCLA students an exciting training session, taking selfies with the students and delighting everyone in attendance.

Below the pics and several post form X:

Djokovic nominated for the Laureus Award

 Novak Djokovic's 2023 has been nothing short of sensational. The champion from Belgrade once again put all the other world tennis champions, young and more experienced, in line and proved to be the best on the Tour

Djokovic is officially among the candidates for the final victory of the Laureus World Sportman of the Year where he will face strong competition. For 2023 there is still Lionel Messi.

The Argentine has fewer chances than last year, but his name remains quite important by right. Many big names in the running this year besides Djokovic and Messi and we can include the Formula One world champion Max Verstappen, winner of 19 out of 22 Grands Prix, the athletics champion Noah Lyles, the pole vault champion Mondo Duplantis and above all Erling Haaland, driving force behind Pep Guardiola's Manchester City and decisive in reaching the Treble at the end of the year.

A great competition but one that sees Novak among the main favourites, the Serbian meanwhile expressed his thanks for the nomination for a truly very important award which certifies the growth of tennis in recent years.

In 2023 Nole has perhaps certified to everyone that he is the GOAT of this sport, he won three Grand Slam titles and the ATP Finals at the end of the year in Turin, the only major defeats at Wimbledon against Carlos Alcaraz and in the Davis Cup against Italy by Jannik Sinner, but despite this it is a top-level season.

Novak Djokovic Indian Wells