Novak Djokovic confirmed that he is from another planet this year. The number 1 in the world has in fact won three majors and has almost reached the 'Calendar Grand Slam' With just one victory from the finish, the Serbian champion gave up clearly to Daniil Medvedev in the final act of the US Open.
The 34-year-old from Belgrade received a beautiful standing ovation from the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd who wanted to see a piece of tennis history live. If successful at Flushing Meadows, Nole would become the second man in the Open Era after Rod Laver to clinch all four Grand Slams in the same year.
In a recent interview for the ATP website, Craig Boynton - Hubert Hurkacz's coach - revealed what sets Djokovic apart from the rest of the players. 2021 was a year to remember for the Polish tennis player, able to win a Masters 1000 (Miami), to reach the semifinals at Wimbledon (after beating Roger Federer) and to qualify for the ATP Finals in Turin.
Boynton opens up on Djokovic
"The car just doesn’t arbitrarily go unless it’s Novak Djokovic. He has so many reps and it’s just so second nature to him. Everybody else isn’t really there yet," Boynton remarked.
Working with the American coach, Hurkacz has had a breakthrough season by virtue of which he has earned a spot in the ATP Finals for the first time in his career. He features in a star-studded lineup this week in Turin, one that's led by World No.
1 Novak Djokovic. "I had no doubt that he would have made it here. I would have said, 'Well, that was pretty quick.' I told people that fall of 2021 was going to be his time, but then Covid hit. I actually thought this all was going to happen next year," Boynton said.
"I would have signed right then. The only surprise to me is how quickly it’s come about. It’s not a surprise that he’s here at all. We don’t really talk about ‘x’ because what drives ‘x’? What drives ‘x’ is execution.
What drives ‘x’ is being prepared mentally. How much are you willing to follow the game plan? ‘X’ is the car and we’re talking about the gas. I’d rather focus more on what makes the car go than the car actually going," Boynton explained.
During the interview, Craig Boynton was also asked about the similarities between Hubert Hurkacz and Andy Murray's gamestyles, something the American coach had himself pointed out two years ago. "The mannerisms and the way Hubi and Andy walk and do things are similar.
Hubi used to return a lot like Andy, but we’ve changed that. Andy’s balance on return is off the charts, you have that or you don’t."