Novak Djokovic: 'I don't think it's official yet'
by SIMONE BRUGNOLI | VIEW 23793
Not all pundits consider Novak Djokovic the overwhelming favorite to leave Australia with his 22nd Grand Slam title on his arm. The renowned French coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, is not sure that the Serb can win the tournament a year after missing it because he did not want to vaccinate against Covid-19.
"He will have a difficult time because he will carry a great emotional burden and no one is immune to everything that happened to him here. In his favor is that he still does not have competitive stress coming from a long preseason and that he will have time to get used to the conditions in the Adelaide tournament”, commented the collaborator of players like Stefanos Tsitsipas and Holger Rune.
Despite everything, Mouratoglou has his precautions and thinks that he may even have a result that marked him throughout the season: "I hope it does not fall apart as it did at the 2021 Us Open and, above all, I trust that the Australian public will respect him as the great champion he is".
'Nole' has been crowned nine times at the Australian Open, and if he had played last year's edition, many are betting that he would be ahead of Rafael Nadal in the race to be the top Grand Slam winner. Precisely two of the last pupils of the coach of Greek origin, such as Tsitsipas and Rune, are among the main favorites to prevent the Serbian from getting another crown at Melbourne Park.
In the case of the Dane, with whom he has been working lately, he already knows what it is like to beat the favorite in one of the great tournaments in the last final of the Masters 1000 in Paris-Bercy. How far do you see Novak Djokovic coming in at the 2023 Australian Open?
Nole currently competing in Adelaide
In a press conference after his second-round victory at the Adelaide International 1, Novak Djokovic spoke about the negative development.
“I understand it -- I saw it, but I don't think it's official yet. When it's official, then we can speak about it,” he remarked. “Look, if it is official, then it is. I mean, what can I do? Nothing. That's it. You know my position.
It is what it is. Well, I'm hoping, but if I can't go, I can't go. That's it,” he stated. The Serbian has faced a different fate in Australia this time around, after facing deportation in 2022.