Nikolay Davydenko details how 'fear' impacts younger guys against Novak Djokovic

Davydenko shares his thoughts on Djokovic still dominating at 36.

by Dzevad Mesic
Nikolay Davydenko details how 'fear' impacts younger guys against Novak Djokovic
© Getty Images Sport - Matthew Stockman

Former world No 3 Nikolay Davydenko believes Novak Djokovic is "psychologically winning" against the younger guys because they are "afraid of him." Davydenko, who is now 42 years old and retired from pro tennis in 2014, was in his prime years when Djokovic became a Grand Slam champion at the 2008 Australian Open.

Davydenko has now been retired for years and Djokovic is 36 years old but the Serb is still dominating tennis and coming off a season in which he made all four Grand Slam finals and landed three Majors. In some of his interviews from late 2023, world No 1 Djokovic very openly told the younger guys that he won't be walking away from pro tennis until someone gives him a good reason to consider retirement.

Davydenko: The younger guys are already losing to Djokovic psychologically

"If Djokovic gets into shape, even without playing a few tournaments, without injury, he is physically ready. It’s more important that you have enough strength for every match.

And if they are, his concentration will be much higher than others. That's why they are afraid of him. Plus, the fear remains: Djokovic also beats the younger generation with his head - they are already psychologically losing to him.

'Ah, Djokovic, that’s all!' And Novak dominates thanks to this. What he does is unique. One might say, the only one like this so far," Davydenko told Championat. After a highly-successful 2023 season and breaking several records, Djokovic told his competition that he is coming for more in 2024.

“I have always the highest ambitions and goals. That's not going to be different for the next year, that's for sure. The drive that I have is still there. My body has been serving me well, listening to me well," Djokovic said after winning the ATP Finals.

Nikolay Davydenko Novak Djokovic