'I think Novak Djokovic's going to recover and...', says legend



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'I think Novak Djokovic's going to recover and...', says legend

Novak Djokovic has encountered a lot of difficulties in recent months. The Serbian champion paid a very high price for his choice not to vaccinate against the Coronavirus, not having been able to defend the title at the Australian Open and having suffered serious damage to his image.

The world number 1 made his seasonal debut on the hard courts in Dubai, but failed to go beyond the quarter-finals (beaten in two sets by a wild Jiri Vesely). Due to strict US regulations, the 34-year-old from Belgrade also had to give up the Masters 1000 in Indian Wells and Miami.

His clay 'campaign' did not start in the best way, as Nole was defeated by Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the second round of the Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo. The 20-time Grand Slam champion's goal is to get 100% to Roland Garros, where he will be called upon to defend the title he won last year.

Speaking to Eurosport, Justine Henin said it will take some time to see the real Djokovic again.

Justine Henin opens up on Djokovic

"We can't under-estimate the emotional roller-coaster Novak Djokovic has been on," Henin told Eurosport France's 'DiP Impact' podcast.

"Not just the Australian Open and not just all the effort he made to try and win his 21st Grand Slam at the 2021 US Open either. But you can also go back to the US Open in 2020 when he was disqualified. From there, he then had the tough [final] defeat [to Rafa Nadal] at Roland Garros.

Then he had the abdominal injury and his somewhat miraculous win at the Australian Open in 2021." However, in the same breath, the Belgian stressed that athletes must not be perceived as machines since dealing with adversities takes a toll eventually.

"But I think he's going to recover and we'll once again sooner or later see the Djokovic of old, so I'm not too worried at this stage," Henin said. "But these players aren't machines either, and even if he showed us that he could deal with so many things and that the more he was in difficulty, the more he could bounce back, how long can he keep doing that?" she asked.

20-time Grand Slam winner, Novak Djokovic aiming for resurgence, will kickstart his campaign at the Serbia Open in his Round-of-16 clash . As he’s looking for a winning start at his home tournament, he is practicing really hard. Of course, his long-term goal for this year’s clay season is to do well at the French Open.