Novak Djokovic is growing after the difficulties of the beginning of the season. Due to his choice not to get vaccinated against Coronavirus, the world number 1 was unable to defend his title at the Australian Open and suffered serious damage to his image.
As if that weren't enough, the Serbian phenomenon had to watch helplessly as Rafael Nadal's triumph in Melbourne Park. The Spaniard has thus overtaken Roger Federer and Djokovic himself in the all-time ranking of the Majors.
Strict US regulations prevented Nole from also playing the Indian Wells and Miami Masters 1000s. After premature elimination in Monte Carlo, the 34-year-old from Belgrade reached the final in Belgrade and the semifinal in Madrid.
At Caja Magica, he started a splendid battle against Carlos Alcaraz. The 19-year-old from Murcia won the decisive tiebreak, but Djokovic made significant progress. The 20-time Grand Slam champion will face Felix Auger-Aliassime for a place in the semifinal at the BNL Internationals of Italy.
During a long interview with 'Ruetir', the young Italian Matteo Arnaldi expressed all his admiration for Novak.
Arnaldi on Novak Djokovic
"Novak Djokovic has always been my idol and that’s why I entered the field a bit tense.
It was an incredible feeling to be able to trade with the # 1 in the world," said Arnaldi, looking back on his big moment. The youngster said he jumped at the chance to hit some balls with the Serbian great. Arnaldi showered praise on Djokovic's game, describing it as technically superior to anyone else's.
“Technically I found him extremely clean compared to the others I have played with up to now. His ball is very flat and you have a hard time playing with it, even on clay. It takes away your time, you can’t do anything you have in mind," Arnaldi expressed further.
The experience of training with Novak Djokovic and getting a taste of an ATP main draw match, has given the World No. 275 a good idea of what it takes to get to the top. “After the first round played with Cilic and training with the world no.1 today, I realized that the difference with the greatest it’s in the level of tennis itself but in the way they act in the important moments.
The mind and the management of one’s own tennis make the difference," Arnaldi said. The French Open has finally cleared the air on the participation of Russian and Belarusian players at this year’s tournament.
As per the tournament director, Amelie Mauresmo, the players would be allowed to play at the French Open later this month.