'It's like a supercomputer - Novak Djokovic can anticipate...', says ATP ace



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'It's like a supercomputer - Novak Djokovic can anticipate...', says ATP ace

Since the beginning of the Open Era, only four players have achieved at least 80 wins in a single Major, and no one looks good to join them in the next few years. Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Jimmy Connors and Novak Djokovic are the members of the exclusive group, with the Spaniard leading the way with 105 wins at Roland Garros.

Roger Federer is the only player with at least 100 wins in two Grand Slams, followed by Connors, who scored 98 wins at the US Open and 84 at Wimbledon. Novak Djokovic joined the party in February at the Australian Open, lifting the ninth trophy at Melbourne Park and celebrating 82 victories in the season-opening Major.

Last week in Paris, Novak claimed the 19th Major trophy, closing in on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal and becoming the third player in the Open Era with at least 80 wins in a single Major after Connors and Federer. Novak arrived in Paris determined to seek the second Roland Garros crown, although it was not an easy task after beating Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals.

In the round of 16, the Serbian trailed two sets to zero to young Italian Lorenzo Musetti before starting from scratch in the third and leaving the opponent far behind to advance to the quarterfinals. Novak then had to fight another Italian, Matteo Berrettini, and beat him in four tight sets after three and a half hours to set up Rafael Nadal's clash.

Fighting for the 58th time since Roland Garros 15 years ago, Djokovic scored his second Roland Garros win over Nadal, prevailing 3-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2 after more than four hours to find himself in the sixth final in Paris. Rafa made a perfect start, but lost ground after that, blew a set point in the third set and had nothing else in the tank in the fourth to experience his third Parisian loss and propel Novak to the 80th Roland Garros victory.

Mischa Zverev opens up on Novak Djokovic

Mats Wilander and Mischa Zverev came together on Eurosport to discuss Novak Djokovic's movement on clay. Zverev likened Djokovic to a 'supercomputer' due to the way he anticipates his opponents' shots.

Wilander, meanwhile, expressed surprise that the Serb doesn't injure himself more often given the way he throws himself on the court. "Well, I mean the way he (Novak Djokovic) moves I'm surprised that he doesn't hurt himself more," Wilander said.

"But Mischa I have to ask you this - Novak moving on a claycourt, he has to anticipate a little more than on a hardcourt because he's always gonna slip and slide but somehow he seems to be able to handle the pace of Berrettini's serve, forehands.

Is it because he is so good at reading the game, he can get to everything even on a clay court? So, I think - many years ago I talked to Fabrice Santoro and he said, 'if you wanna be a good defender don't look at the ball, look at the opponent, look where he stands, look at his body-shoulder rotation and that will tell you where he is gonna play'," Zverev said.

"I feel like maybe Novak is doing the same, not looking at the ball only, he's looking at the stance of Berrettini (or any other player). It's like math," Zverev added. "What is the percentage of him going crosscourt, what's the percentage of him going down the line, and then combining all these facts and all these information. It's like a supercomputer - he can anticipate really fast and just go in the right direction super early."