Novak Djokovic has played far less than expected this season. His choice not to get vaccinated against Coronavirus has had negative repercussions both on his calendar and on his image. The Serbian phenomenon was forced to miss two Grand Slams, the Australian Open and the US Open, as well as being at the center of a real media chaos.
For the same reason, the former world number 1 also had to give up all the American Masters 1000 (Indian Wells, Miami, Montreal and Cincinnati) and fell in the ATP ranking. After the disappointment he suffered at Roland Garros, Nole redeemed himself by triumphing at Wimbledon for the seventh time in his career.
In addition to equaling his idol Pete Sampras, the 'Djoker' has narrowed the gap that separates him from Rafael Nadal in the all-time Grand Slam standings. Goran Ivanisevic's protege still does not know if he will be able to play the Australian Open 2023, but the clues suggest a white smoke.
In a press conference during the ATP in Tel Aviv, Djokovic unveiled his strategy to stay at a high level.
Djokovic reflects on his process
“There isn’t one secret or one key that solves all the problems. It’s a combination of things that are part of your character: who you are, how you train, what’s your lifestyle,” Novak Djokovic told reporters on Wednesday.
“It all creates the image of success. That formula has worked for me”. He says that he is also always open to experiment and try new things and says that he is inspired to innovate by the next generation of stars who he feels are changing the game.
“I also try some new things, because I always want to progress. Especially when you have guys like Alcaraz, who is full of power and adrenaline. So you always have to figure out how to improve and take yourself to a higher level,” he continued.
Renowned sports journalist Jon Wertheim recently shed some light on Novak Djokovic's love-hate relationship with the press. "It is naive to suggest we all commit to turning down the volume? The press doesn't hate Djokovic.
He's an exquisite player. He's fundamentally decent. Some in the media (and peers, fans, etc.) object to the Covid behavior. That's all. May the spirit of @LaverCup redound to fans," he tweeted. Speaking at the pre-tournament press conference, the 21-time Grand Slam winner reflected on his career by saying he still has the "passion" and "hunger" to continue swinging his racquet despite winning almost everything in his career.
“I still want to play tennis even though I achieved pretty much everything that you can achieve in tennis," said the Serb. "I still have passion and hunger to play at a highest professional level”.