Former Indian tennis player Somdev Devvarman believes that hard work is one of the keys behind Novak Djoovic's success. "Obviously it’s practice,” Devvarman told Moneycontrol. “He’s worked on his game religiously since he was a little kid.
He’s also one of those guys who works on areas of his life and his health perhaps a bit more scientifically and diligently than some of his peers. I think the guy does everything he can do to get that little bit of an extra edge.
And it shows. “Early on in his career he’d hire people just to help with his serve. So he had serving coaches, which was very strange for a guy who was world No 2 or 3. But he did it because he looks for that edge.
Later on the big change happened when he went from eating gluten to not eating gluten”.
Devvarman explains Djokovic's 'most incredible gift'
“Novak always finds a way to middle the ball, which is his most incredible gift,” says Devvarman.
“I remember one time he was playing Nicolas Almagro in the Australian Open. They were a set and a half, almost an hour into the match. Almagro hit a first serve and Novak shanked it wide, and the commentator goes, ‘That’s the first time Novak Djokovic has not hit the ball with the middle of the strings’”.
When asked what players need to do to defeat Djokovic at the Grand Slams, Devvarman said: "Guys have come close. (Dominic) Thiem at the Australian Open last year, (Stefanos) Tsitsipas at the French Open this year. (Matteo) Berrettini won the first set [in the Wimbledon final].
It’s about keeping up that same level of intensity, focus, belief and execution over a long period of time. That’s where Novak makes them pay. If they lose concentration even for five minutes, or even a few seconds, they could go a break down.
Novak keeps knocking on the door and asks really, really tough questions, and often times, he’s the only one with the answer”.