Novak Djokovic wants to end a rather troubled season with a flourish. Due to his choice not to get vaccinated against Coronavirus, the Serbian phenomenon had to give up the Australian Open and the US Open, two tournaments in which he would have been the main favorite for the win.
The former world number 1 also missed the American Masters 1000, as well as suffering serious damage to his image. Despite the many difficulties, the 35-year-old from Belgrade did not give up and revived his season by triumphing for the seventh time at Wimbledon.
Nole has thus equaled his idol Pete Sampras and hoisted himself to 21 Grand Slams, just one distance away from Rafael Nadal in the all-time ranking. The 'Djoker' also won the Internazionali BNL of Italy, the ATP 250 of Tel Aviv and the ATP 500 of Astana, detaching the pass for the ATP Finals of Turin.
The 21-time Slam champion has been included in an iron group together with Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev.
Patrick McEnroe on Nole Djokovic
"As we found out recently with Simona Halep testing positive, these players are getting tested all the time," Patrick McEnroe said.
"So if there was anything illegal in the drinks that they were mixing, which they do for them all the time during matches, it's likely that Novak Djokovic would test positive for it." Leading tennis writer and author Pete Bodo joined McEnroe on the podcast episode and also jokingly chimed in on the topic.
"I see a magic proprietary branded Novak Djokovic tennis elixir coming out, with ingredients that are as closely and secretly guarded as the formula for Coca-Cola," Bodo expressed. Speaking to ATP Media on Friday (November 11), the 21-time Grand Slam champion relished the chance of winning a sixth season-ending title but admitted that things would not be easy.
"[It would be] a perfect ending [to the season]," Novak Djokovic told ATP Media on Friday. "The cherry on the cake, for sure, but it’s a long way. It’s a long week. You've got to play the best players in the world [here]," said Djokovic.
"You have to play more or less everyone in this tournament at least once, so I look forward to it. I’ve had experience in this tournament, in this format, many times and hopefully that can serve me in a good way. I played him in the past two tournaments I played, in the final in Astana and the semi-finals in Paris," said Novak Djokovic.
"Both matches were quite close, particularly the one in Paris. I know that I am expecting a tough match without a doubt."