Denis Shapovalov's ex-coach opens on his admiration for Novak Djokovic



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Denis Shapovalov's ex-coach opens on his admiration for Novak Djokovic

Tennis coach Rob Steckley called Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal as great champions and also applauded the Serb for always staying real to himself and to his principles. Djokovic was denied participation at the Australian Open as Nadal won a record 21st Grand Slam at Melbourne Park this past January.

Steckley has worked with some big names, having coached the likes of Denis Shapovalov and Lucie Safarova. "Nadal and Djokovic are incredible at being able to stay out on the road," Steckley said on the Match Point Canada podcast, as quoted on Sportskeeda.

"I think they're at a different stage in their career or whatever, they want to accomplish different things."

Steckley: Djokovic not crushing under the pressure

After Djokovic was deported from Australia, many thought the Serb would change his mind and take the vaccine.

Instead, Djokovic said his principles and beliefs come before his tennis career. "You have Djokovic who is sticking to his beliefs on you know against, what was it, not getting fully vaccinated? I'm definitely not statistically inclined so bear with me, but I do know that his beliefs are something that he believes in and that's what he stands by and it's crazy to think that somebody that's in his position is going to stick to his guns amongst everything that's happening against the world.

So he's basically going against it. I find that also incredibly admirable," Steckley added. "I have the utmost respect for him and I think a lot of people questioned that at the beginning but when you really know his story and his beliefs that I think that's what humanity is all about right, that's what he believes in.

And I gained a lot of respect after listening to his story in Australia." So far this season, Djokovic was denied participation at the Australian Open and Masters events in Indian Wells and Miami. Djokovic is expected to return to action at the Monte Carlo Masters.