Former World No. 87 Olivier Patience was delighted to have the opportunity to play against World No. 1 Novak Djokovic. At the 2007 French Open, wild card Patience faced Djokovic in the third round. Patience had a great performance against Djokovic, but ultimately came up short in five sets.
"He is simple, six months later, he won his first Grand Slam at the Australian Open. He was very young, although he had already achieved some results in the big tournaments. He was very young, but he already had a lot of experience for his young age, "Patience told Ouest-France.
Patience saw signs of great talent in Djokovic, but never imagined that the Serbian would win 20 Grand Slams. “I wouldn't have imagined at the time that he was going to do everything he did. But we already felt that at 20, he was very solid.
He then he progressed technically, physically, in the head he became a murderer. Nobody can predict 20 Grand Slams, it's impossible," said Patience. "No, I'm glad I had such a good game against him, because for me he will be the one who finishes with the most Grand Slams in tennis history," said Patience.
Djokovic failed to win a record 21 Grand Slam and capture a Calendar Grand Slam after losing to Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final. "Relief. I was glad that he was done because the preparation for this tournament and everything that I had to deal with mentally and emotionally throughout the tournament in the last few weeks was a lot.
Dia Evtimova opens up on Novak Djokovic
Bulgarian player Dia Evtimova, who happens to be an old friend of Novak Djokovic's, recently posted a picture of the Serb from the time he was just 14 years old. Evtimova, who has been training at Djokovic's tennis center in Belgrade lately, also heaped praise on the World No.
1 for his on-court brilliance and his humble nature. "What an honor and pleasure to know for 20 years the greatest player of our sport," Dia Evtimova said. "An extraordinary athlete who is able to maintain down-to-earth behavior, authenticity and strong sense of responsibility about our sport and future tennis generations @ptpaplayers."
The Bulgarian further expressed her gratitude to the Novak Djokovic Tennis Center for helping her prepare for her upcoming tournaments. "@novak.tennis.center Thanks for having and helping me get ready for my next tournaments," she further wrote. "What a great center with positive professional team."