Rising star Flavio Cobolli, 19, opens on his love for Novak Djokovic



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Rising star Flavio Cobolli, 19, opens on his love for Novak Djokovic

Rising Italian star Flavio Cobolli named Novak Djokovic as his idol as he is hoping to follow in the footsteps of the Serb and have a big career on the Tour. Cobolli, who lifted his maiden Challenger title last week in Zadar, opened up about his love for 20-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic following his victory at the Croatian Challenger event.

Cobolli, 19, acknowledged that Djokovic is going through a difficult time but added it won't stop him from loving and admiring the Serb. “Novak Djokovic is my idol. He is going through a difficult time, but he will always remain my idol.

Among the Big 3, he is the one I feel closest to, because we like to defend but also to counter-attack and we both respond well," Cobolli told Tennis World Italia.

Djokovic faces an uncertain future but set to play the French Open

France recently lifted its vaccine mandate and that means Djokovic will be allowed to play at the Monte Carlo Masters and French Open.

Djokovic has played only one tournament so far this season as he suffered a shock quarterfinal defeat to Jiri Vesely in the Dubai quarterfinal. In a recent interview, tennis coach Brad Gilbert revealed he thought Djokovic would be unstoppable around this time but then the whole COVID-19 thing happened.

"Before any of this with COVID happened, I thought that Novak Djokovic would be unstoppable around this time. [But now], it's all just a mystery with him," Gilbert said on the latest episode of the Holding Court with Patrick McEnroe podcast.

"I just think that when you get so much equity by winning matches - which he had tons of - and all of a sudden you're not playing and all these things that happened with COVID, I think it's been mentally taxing." Djokovic didn't get a chance to battle for his 21st Grand Slam at the Australian Open and he will certainly be extremely motivated to win it all at Roland Garros.