'I don't always agree with Novak Djokovic's behaviour', says legend

2021 was an unforgettable year for Novak Djokovic

by Simone Brugnoli
'I don't always agree with Novak Djokovic's behaviour', says legend

2021 was an unforgettable year for Novak Djokovic, capable of winning three of the four Grand Slams disputed. The number 1 in the world has come one step away from the 'Calendar Grand Slam', which would have closed any debate related to the GOAT.

In addition to joining Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at 20 Majors, the Serbian phenomenon ended the season at the top of the ATP rankings for the seventh time in his career (thus detaching his idol Pete Sampras). As if that weren't enough, the 34-year-old from Belgrade scored his 37th Masters 1000 by beating Nadal in this special ranking.

In the second half of the season, Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev showed that they came very close to Nole's level on hard courts. The Russian defeated him in the final of the US Open, while the German won at the Tokyo Olympics and the ATP Finals.

In a lengthy interview granted to Eurosport, seven-time Grand Slam champion Justine Henin revealed that Djokovic will struggle much harder in 2022.

Henin talks about Novak Djokovic

"It’s going to be very interesting to see how everybody handles it," Justine Henin told Eurosport.

"Daniil Medvedev is taking off. Zverev - it will be the year for him... I think he's ready to go for a Grand Slam in 2022, obviously we'll still have to see how he does over the five-set question, but you get the feeling that at some point, it's going to work out for him.

He has taken on a new dimension. Medvedev and Zverev have established themselves as the most dangerous rivals. There will be the return of [Rafael] Nadal. Obviously, Dominic Thiem will be back," she said. "We're happy to see these players back.

And Novak Djokovic? What about his desire? We always have the feeling that Novak Djokovic's appetite keeps growing. Will it continue like this? It is very difficult to say. He will still want to win. He certainly needs to recharge his batteries now," she said.

The Belgian admitted that while she does not "agree with his behavior" all the time, she does respect his "authenticity." "I don't think enough credit is given to him (Novak Djokovic) for everything he's done, everything he's accomplished," Henin said.

"I don't always agree with his behaviour because, in the end, by trying and wanting to do so well, by wanting to be liked, finally, he goes a little against his nature."

Novak Djokovic