Novak Djokovic: 'At the beginning, I said I don't want to change'

Djokovic continues to add reasons to consider himself as the GOAT

by Simone Brugnoli
Novak Djokovic: 'At the beginning, I said I don't want to change'

The 2022 season ended a few weeks ago, but tennis barely stopped, different exhibitions began around the world, with the best tennis players already focused on the upcoming season, the one that starts in a few weeks and will take the best exponents to the land of the kangaroos, Australia, where the first Grand Slam of the season will be played.

A few weeks ago, Novak Djokovic received permission to travel to Australia next month. The local government has lifted a three-year ban against the Serb, who was the subject of a nasty episode earlier this year. In fact, the 35-year-old from Belgrade had been expelled from the country due to his vaccination status and had not been able to participate in the Australian Open.

For the same reason, the former world number 1 had also had to give up the US Open and all American Masters 1000s. His 2022 was, however, satisfactory thanks to his triumphs at Wimbledon and at the ATP Finals in Turin, without forgetting his victory at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia.

Despite a season greatly affected by his decision not to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus, Novak managed to finish the year in the Top 5 and reaffirmed that he is still the man to beat. The 21-time Slam champion will begin his 2023 playing Adelaide's ATP 250, before going on the hunt for his 10th label at Melbourne Park.

The host of the exhibition held in Saudi Arabia, Mats Wilander, stated that Djokovic will be the big favorite at the Australian Open (which begins on January 16). "I see Novak Djokovic as the heavy favorite to win the 2023 Australian Open.

Behind him is Daniil Medvedev, who is playing his best tennis on concrete, and defending champion Rafael Nadal," Wilander said.

Djokovic is in excellent shape

Novak Djokovic has worn Asics' shoes for the last few years and will be wearing a new, upgraded design the coming season.

"At the beginning, I said I don't want to change. When I switched from my last sponsor to Asics shoes, I felt really like I was going to a sportscar from a commercial car. I felt lighter on my feet, I felt there was more flexibility.

I could change direction quicker, and I could slide. Why change when you feel good? Why change? Let's try to make an even better shoe," he said. "I've really enjoyed the process. Sometimes not, most of the time, yes. Good things take time.

I am really proud of the whole process. Don't know if I can choose between stability and flexibility. You need to combine the lightness and comfort with functionality. For us, we change directions a lot and the first step is so crucial.

We need a good shoe to absorb the shock of stopping and help us launch and change direction to the first step back to the middle of the court," he added.

Novak Djokovic