'Novak Djokovic has class', says former ATP ace

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'Novak Djokovic has class', says former ATP ace

Novak Djokovic claimed the 15th Major title at the 2019 Australian Open to place himself opposite his idol Pete Sampras. Novak dropped a set against Daniil Medvedev and Denis Shapovalov en route to the quarter-finals, shifting into higher gear and racing to a seventh Australian Open trophy.

In the final, Djokovic defeated his great rival Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 6-3, celebrating the title and causing Nadal's most challenging loss in Major finals! Looking back on the match, Novak said he was proud of how he defeated Rafa, putting on a perfect performance and doing everything right against such a great champion.

Nadal had not dropped a set before the title match, suffered just two breaks in six meetings and looked good to win the Australian Open for the first time in ten years. As always, the only problem for the Spaniard lay in the fact that Djokovic was never an ordinary opponent for him, he couldn't beat him off the clay since the 2013 US Open final!

Starting from Beijing that year, Djokovic had posted 13 wins in 16 matches against Nadal for total dominance, extending the head-to-head lead to 28-25 after Melbourne. Djokovic's sublime performance left Nadal completely powerless as the Serb held the lead from the first point to the end.

Novak controlled the pace with a masterclass in hitting from both flanks, opening up the court and pushing the Spaniard out of his comfort zone to dominate his forehand and other shots. Rafa found himself in all sorts of trouble not figuring out how to impose his shots.

As so many times before, Nadal struggled through forehand-backhand rallies that Djokovic was able to endure all day without missing a beat or losing momentum, sending missiles from both flanks that left Nadal unarmed. Rafa's first serve did not exist that day, winning 51% of the points after connecting it.

He played better on the second serve, but he still suffered five breaks in eight chances offered to Novak.

McEnroe reflects on Djokovic

Interviewed by our colleagues from Tennis365 on the occasion of the release of his documentary where he revealed in particular that he had an indecent proposal from Donald Trump to challenge Serena Williams, John McEnroe returned to Novak Djokovic's very special season and especially to his unconventional mind.

“Novak didn't get the credit he deserves, he has class. I don't agree with his decision not to get vaccinated, but I respect her. He is one of the fittest men in the world and everything he puts into his body, he watches closely.

It's unfortunate that he got to this situation where he was the victim of a train accident. A total debacle. To the point that he was kicked out of Australia, are you kidding me? The way it all unfolded was just awful, so I respect him even more for getting over those things.

He has to be the mentally strongest player I have ever seen on a tennis court. (Rafael) Nadal is a beast of effort, but Djokovic is incredible mentally. What he is able to manage and still succeed at this extraordinary level."