'The most important for Novak Djokovic was...', says former WTA star

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'The most important for Novak Djokovic was...', says former WTA star

The answer, a shot in which the strongest tennis players make the difference. This aspect emerged from the statistics concerning the year 2021 of all the best athletes, released by the ATP tour. A figure that demonstrates how Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic, two of the three players currently with 20 Grand Slam titles on the board (the other is of course Roger Federer), are the points of reference under this special heading: neutralizing effectiveness and the power of the opponent's serve is a weapon of fundamental importance to bring the exchange in one's favor and win it, even more so in these years in which the serve has become indispensable to obtain satisfactory results in tournaments.

According to the statistics, relating to the 52 weeks, including all the matches played by each player and on each surface, the Spaniard is the most effective athlete in response on the circuit, ahead of the number one in the world ranking (171.2), with a score overall of 175.9.

Also on the podium is the Argentine Diego Schwartzman, not far from Nole. Followed by the Russian Daniil Medvedev and the talented Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, fifth. Federico Coria and the Iberian Roberto Bautista Agut precede the South Tyrolean Jannik Sinner, who also showed in 2021 his great ability to respond to any type of service.

The Swede Mikael Ymer and the Chilean Cristian Garin closed the top ten. The German, third in the ranking, Alexander Zverev occupies the 17th position, ahead of the Norwegian Casper Ruud, while the Greek Tsitsipas finished 26th.

Interesting how big servers are (of course) far behind: you have to go down to 68th place to find the blue Matteo Berrettini; even at the bottom and behind all the Americans Reilly Opelka and John Isner.

Bartoli opens up on Nole Djokovic

In a recent podcast appearance for Tennis Majors, former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli claimed that Novak Djokovic's only "obsession" is to win a 21st Grand Slam title.

"I think ultimately, what Novak wants is to beat the 20 Grand Slams record. I think it's the only obsession he is having and when he walked away from that defeat against Sascha, I didn't see him in a lot of anger, you know he was not massively broken down," said Bartoli.

"The most important for him now was to beat Pete Sampras' record or finishing the year as World No. 1 and now it's just to get to 21 and 22 or more so that he makes sure that Federer and Nadal don't catch him back.

I think that's going to be the only obsession he's going to have next year," added Bartoli. On the podcast, Bartoli said she wouldn't categorize itit as a rivalry because of the huge "age gap" between the two players.

“On clay and on grass, for Daniil, it’s still a long way to go. And especially even more on clay. I don’t think you can call it a rivalry just because the age gap is too huge. They are not playing in the same era. Novak has been playing a decade before," mentioned Bartoli.