'I am proud to have played against Novak Djokovic', says ATP ace

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'I am proud to have played against Novak Djokovic', says ATP ace

Novak Djokovic has been the great ruler of the last decade, managing to break several records from Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The Serbian phenomenon became the author of an extraordinary 2021, in which he put three majors on the bulletin board, touching on a legendary feat.

Had he also triumphed at the US Open, ATP No. 1 would have become the second man in the Open Era after Rod Laver to complete the 'Calendar Grand Slam' His dream was shattered against Daniil Medvedev in the last act, also thanks to the enormous pressure that had deposited on Nole's shoulders.

The 34-year-old from Belgrade was unable to defend his title at the Australian Open, having been expelled from the country on the eve of the Happy Slam. The choice not to get vaccinated could compromise Djokovic's entire season, expected in Dubai in just over a week.

Novak watched helplessly as Nadal's success at Melbourne Park allowed the Spaniard to hoist himself to 21 Majors. Interviewed by Eurosport a few days ago, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga praised Djokovic and recalled the 2008 Australian Open final.

Tsonga comments on Djokovic

“After the 2008 final, I remember I beat Novak Djokovic four times in a row, but that didn't help me make history because none of those wins got me a Grand Slam. It's the hardest thing.

I am proud to have played against him so many times, to be one of the rare players to have been able to beat him on several occasions, even when I was behind in the standings,” said Tsonga. 1996 Wimbledon champion, Deutch Richard Krajicek recently pointed out Djokovic gets inspired and energized by fans cheering for his rivals.

In the interview, he did a deep dive on how Roger Federer’s fans have helped Djokovic in his career. Richard Krajicek, the tournament director of ATP 500 ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, Rotterdam credited Federer’s fans for Djokovic’s successful career.

He said, “One of the reasons why Djokovic has been so successful is thanks to the Federer fans”. He further explained his statement, saying, “The Federer fans when he played against Novak were so much pushing for Roger and thought they were helping him, but they were actually helping Novak to win those matches”.

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer have been one of the biggest rivals on-court. The two have faced each other 50 times since their first meeting at the 2006 ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo. In the head-to-head race, Djokovic leads the way 27-23.