Novak Djokovic: Igniting the Beast - How Young Guns Fuel the Fire

Novak Djokovic is inspired by Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner and Holger Rune

by Jovica Ilic
Novak Djokovic: Igniting the Beast - How Young Guns Fuel the Fire
© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Novak Djokovic finished the season as world no. 1 for the eighth time in a career. The 36-year-old was a player to beat in 2023, leaving the young guns behind and extending his incredible legacy. Despite earning almost every notable record and closing the GOAT race, Novak is hungry for more in the upcoming years, drawing inspiration from his battles against the young guns.

Djokovic experienced seven losses in the season behind us, and five came against the opponents born in 2001, 2002 and 2003. Also, Novak secured some notable victories against them, especially at Roland Garros, Cincinnati, Paris and the ATP Finals.

Djokovic defeated Sebastian Korda in the Adelaide final, fending off a match point and making a victorious start to the season. Lorenzo Musetti took down the Serb after a massive battle in Monte Carlo, prevailing 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 in just under three hours.

Novak met another young gun at the Rome Masters, facing Holger Rune and experiencing a 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 loss. Rune played well in the sets he won, overpowering Djokovic in the decider and emerging at the top. Novak saved his A-game for Roland Garros, chasing the record-breaking 23rd Major title.

The veteran met Carlos Alcaraz in a mouth-watering semi-final and scored a 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 win. Novak endured the pressure and broke the rival's resistance at the beginning of the third set, with Alcaraz struggling with cramps until the end of the duel.

Novak chased his eighth Wimbledon title a few weeks later, battling against two young guns. The Serb took down Jannik Sinner 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 in the semi-final, playing well and setting the title clash against Carlos Alcaraz. The world's best players fought at the second straight Major, and Novak was the favorite.

However, Carlos stunned him in five sets, lifting his second Major crown at 20 and producing Novak's only defeat at Majors in 2023.

Novak Djokovic enjoys his battles against the young rivals.

Eager to bounce back, Djokovic took down Alcaraz in that epic Cincinnati final, gathering a boost and conquering his 24th Major title at the US Open.

In the repeat of last year's final, Novak dethroned Holger Rune at the Paris Masters, prevailing after nearly three hours of an incredible battle. Djokovic met Alcaraz, Rune and Sinner en route to his sixth ATP Finals title, giving everything against much younger challengers.

The Serb overpowered the Dane in another cracker before falling to the Italian after three hours and nine minutes! Jannik kept Novak in the competition, and Djokovic faced Carlos Alcaraz in the semi-final. The more experienced player delivered a masterclass performance, leaving the 20-year-old behind and setting the title clash against Sinner.

The Serb defeated the Italian 6-3, 6-3, lifting his seventh title of the season and leaving the young guns behind for another year! Jannik bounced back in the Davis Cup semi-final, fending off a match point and ousting Djokovic 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.

"The young players were so hungry against me, and they awakened the beast in me, giving me extra motivation. I was so angry after losing the Wimbledon final to Carlos Alcaraz, turning that into a desire to win everything in the United States, which I did," Novak Djokovic said.

Novak Djokovic Carlos Alcaraz Jannik Sinner