Novak Djokovic will have a special place in the tennis history books. The number 1 in the world managed to break the dominance of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal by establishing himself as the best tennis player of the last decade, as well as being able to boast a favorable balance in direct clashes with both the Swiss and the Spaniard.
In 2020, the Serbian veteran was the protagonist of a splendid start to the season, arriving undefeated at the long break caused by the Coronavirus emergency. Nole also won the Australian Open by recovering Dominic Thiem in the final, a daring success that allowed him to score his 17th career Slam.
The women's edition of the Happy Slam went instead to the surprise Sofia Kenin. In an exclusive interview with Essentially Sports, the young American said she had received very useful advice from Djokovic in the hours leading up to the final against her Garbine Muguruza.
The 22-year-old American, who reached the final at Roland Garros last October, will come to Melbourne as reigning champion in just over a month.
Kenin on talking to Novak Djokovic
Elaborating further on that episode, Sofia Kenin stated, “I definitely think I can talk to Novak Djokovic.
Since we started talking, it’s been helpful. We’re both defending champions, and I think he would give me some great advice. And he did give me great advice before the final. We’re practicing next to each other.
And then, he came up to me was really nice about it. And, told me some things before the final, which was, special since, obviously I was crazy nervous. He told me some things, which I will not disclose since I’d rather keep it secret”.
Speaking further at the pre-event press conference at WTA Abu Dhabi about the unreal feeling she’s experiencing, she said, “It’s a unique situation to be the defending champion at a grand slam. And not many people have experienced that.
I’m wondering, is there anyone that you have spoken to over the past year about the pressures that come with being a first time champion? What it’s like to have a target on your back?” Kenin further highlighted that she would not think much about the fact that she would be the defending champion.
She emphasized that she would be focussing more on every single game. She also looked quite positive and believed that she would have a fabulous Grand Slam in Melbourne. “I’m just going to try to get that out of my head and then you know, just take one match at a time hopefully, I’ll have a good run there,” concluded the Australian Open 2020 winner.