'I don't know if Novak Djokovic's ever played better', says expert
by SIMONE BRUGNOLI | VIEW 2222
After struggling at the start of the tournament due to the imperfect condition of his left knee, Novak Djokovic shifted into high gear to reach the final of the Australian Open. The former world number 1 left no way out for poor Alex De Minaur, Andrey Rublev and Tommy Paul, who racked up a handful of games each.
The Serbian phenomenon will face Stefanos Tsitsipas for the title on Sunday, with the underdogs all on his side. The 35-year-old from Belgrade goes hunting for his tenth seal in Melbourne Park, where he hasn't lost since 2018.
We recall that last year Nole was unable to participate in the Happy Slam due to his vaccination status, ending up at the center of a bad telenovela that led to his expulsion from the country. If he were to triumph on Sunday, the 'Djoker' would hook his eternal rival Rafael Nadal at 22 Majors.
Whoever wins between Djokovic and Tsitsipas will also become the new world number 1 by ousting Carlos Alcaraz from the throne. On the latest edition of the 'Inside-In' podcast on the Tennis Channel, well-known journalist Jon Wertheim commented on Novak's recent performances.
Jon Wertheim praises Nole Djokovic
"I've never seen anything like it. I would even go beyond tennis. Novak Djokovic's playing as well as ever and I'm basing this on the last six or seven sets he's played. I don't know if he's ever played better, some of that statistical or eye test, he's 35 years old and he does an extraordinary job keeping himself in shape," said the journalist.
"There's a lot breaking right, but just from a precise tennis standpoint, the idea he's going to be 36 years old in a few months and not only is he not declining but he beat the No. 5 in the world like he was a junior the other day.
I can't see a scenario in which Djokovic doesn't win this event," he added. Novak Djokovic recently discussed his pursuit of Rafael Nadal's record tally of Grand Slam titles and how his rivalry with the Spaniard keeps him motivated.
"It's amazing. I mean, it feels like that every match is a historic match at this moment, particularly for Rafa and myself. I think we are very privileged to be in this position, both him and I, pushing each other to the limit to see how far one or the other can go," he said.
"It does keep me going, of course. I'm trying to balance things out between the professional goals that I have and it's always highest goal for me, you know, trying to reach another title," he said.