A born winner wants to be one on all the big stages and is willing to take risks to close a record that would reach the highest perfection ever seen. Novak Djokovic is aware that he is facing a great historical opportunity to achieve an achievement never seen in men's tennis, such as the Golden Slam in the same season, and that is why he has decided to attend the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games at despite the demanding sanitary protocols, strict quarantines and the absence of public in the stands.
Many thought that he was going to give up the Olympic gold to prepare well for the US Open 2021 and tackle the Grand Slam in the same year, but the Balkan wants to cover it all. We analyze the pros and cons of his decision: Only Andre Agassi has managed to finish his professional career having won all the great titles, so if the Serbian did, he would give an almost incontestable blow in the fight for the GOAT.
With the confirmation that Federer will not play in Tokyo, we can already assure that the Swiss will not be able to emulate Agassi, while Nadal has the Nitto ATP Finals pending, a goal that each year seems more distant. The level of confidence with which Djokovic arrives makes him the top favorite for individual Olympic gold, a feat that would elevate him even more and allow him to remove one of the thorns that is stuck in his heart.
And it is that Novak has a huge feeling of identity with his country and strives to be a reference and contribute everything possible to his community. Few things would make the world number 1 more excited than hearing the anthem of his beloved country with a golden medal around his neck, something that resisted him in Beijing 2008, where he was eliminated in the semifinals by Nadal in that mythical match remembered by a shot failed from the Serbian.
Becker has served as Novak Djokovic's head coach
Boris Becker recently talked about Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev in a Eurosport podcast titled “The Yellow from the Ball”. Becker also suggested that the Serb often perceives the lack of support as a sign of disrespect.
"I also find it normal somewhere that you not only want to be respected, but also to be loved when you've been world-class for so long," Becker said. "It's not really up to him (Novak Djokovic), he's number one, the best in the world and the outsider is supported.
And Novak almost sees it as disrespectful, for (the crowd support) not being for him," the German added. "I've tried to explain to him a few times that it's now for the underdog and not so much against him." Becker also reckons Zverev is "too passive" during crunch moments, which ultimately proves to be costly against high-quality opponents.
"He is a leader among the younger generation and doesn't have to hide behind anyone," Becker went on. "But he has to fix the same mistakes and that's the annoying thing that it repeats from Grand Slam to Grand Slam. In critical phases he remains too passive, he stands behind the baseline and hopes that the opponent will make a mistake. That's enough against the worse-placed players, but the better ones don't make a mistake."