'It was just a perfect storm for Novak Djokovic', says former star

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'It was just a perfect storm for Novak Djokovic', says former star

Despite a season greatly affected by his decision not to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus, Novak Djokovic has managed to show that he is still the best. The former world number 1 was forced to miss the Australian Open and the US Open, as well as all the American Masters 1000 (Indian Wells, Miami, Montreal and Cincinnati).

The ugly Australian soap opera cost the Serb dear both in image and psychologically, to the point that only at Wimbledon did we see the best Nole again. The 35-year-old from Belgrade revived his year by winning the Championship, the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, the Tel Aviv ATP 250, the Astana ATP 500 and the Turin ATP Finals.

The Serb won the Masters tournament again seven years after the last time, in addition to equaling Roger Federer's six titles. Goran Ivanisevic's protégé is expected to start 2023 in Adelaide, before going on the hunt for his tenth trophy at the Australian Open.

On the Tennis Channel microphones, well-known analyst Chris Oddo analyzed Djokovic's form. "In the first part of the season, people had raised a lot of doubts about the state of Novak Djokovic. There have been some unexpected losses and people have already started murmuring," Oddo began.

"Many pundits thought that Nole would never be 100 percent again, but instead he has shown that he is still the man to beat. He added to the 2022 of him winning the Turin ATP Finals, further proving that he has no limits. He is still the strongest physically and mentally.

At some point he too will decline but now he himself is number 1 in everyone's mind."

Djokovic wants to hook Nadal

Novak Djokovic's tumultuous 2022 could add "another year or two" to his career, believes Eurosport's Mats Wilander.

Speaking to Eurosport about Djokovic's up-and-down year, Wilander said: "Novak has been so close to being allowed to go to the Australian Open and so close to being allowed to go to the US Open, that it would have never affected his training blocks or his practice sessions.

And I think because he wasn't allowed to go, I think obviously physically it might be a tough thing for him to play five sets, seven matches, but he can deal with that. Then, in Turin, he's better than everybody else. I mean, it was just a perfect storm for him and he was in the middle of it and he was just flying along.

And you're not going to touch him when he's in that mood. Am I surprised that the younger guys can't hit through him? Sometimes I'm a little surprised, but it's more Novak.