'Playing against Novak Djokovic really showed me how...', says ATP ace

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'Playing against Novak Djokovic really showed me how...', says ATP ace

Novak Djokovic has encountered many difficulties in 2022 due to his choice not to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus. The Serbian phenomenon ended up in the eye of the storm just before the start of the Australian Open, a tournament in which he was unable to take part after a soap opera that lasted about ten days.

Also due to his vaccination status, the former ATP number 1 also had to miss the US Open and all the American Masters 1000. The turning point for Nole came on the grass at Wimbledon, where he took his seventh career title (fourth in a row).

The 35-year-old from Belgrade thus equaled his idol Pete Sampras (with seven hits in London) and moved just one length away from Rafael Nadal in the all-time Grand Slam rankings. The 'Djoker' will try to hook up already at the 2023 Australian Open, where he will certainly be the man to beat.

Goran Ivanisevic's pupil has already arrived in Australia and will begin his 2023 by competing in the ATP 250 in Adelaide. In the latest edition of 'ATP Tennis Radio', Slovakian Alex Molcan recalled his first match against Djokovic.

Molcan praises Nole Djokovic

"Playing against Novak Djokovic really showed me how tennis is played," Alex Molcan recently said on the ATP Tennis Radio Podcast. "It’s not about playing crazy fast or trying to be extremely aggressive, it’s about the head and you know it looks like Djokovic is playing chess.

It was a really incredible experience, I learned a lot from it, I saw how maybe I can play, not exactly, but some moves, how he’s thinking, I was re-watching this match a lot and yes, the experience was amazing, it was a good school for me," the Slovakian player added.

Rising tennis talent Matteo Arnaldi has already trained with Novak Djokovic and is among the lucky ones to have shared the court with his lifelong tennis idol. In an interview with Il Messaggero, Arnaldi said: "Djokovic has always been my idol, in Rome I even warmed him up before a match, he is my reference.

Proportionally there are similarities: I too would define myself as a counter-attacker and I have always done the splits. I also grew up on hard courts, then at the beginning of the year we started playing more indoors too, although my best results so far have been on clay.

The US Open and the Australian Open remain Grand Slam tournaments where I dream of great results."

Novak Djokovic