Serena Williams' childhood coach Rick Macci has declared Novak Djokovic "the best role model in sports about mental strength." Djokovic, 36, battled a few issues in Paris last week but still managed to win his 40th Masters title.
After beating Tallon Griekspoor on Thursday, Djokovic revealed he was battling a stomach issue and spending more time on the toilet than on the court. The following day, Djokovic dealt with a back issue during a tight three-set win over Holger Rune.
On Sunday, Djokovic capped off his Paris run with the title after beating Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 6-3. Djokovic was in a pretty challenging position in Paris but still rose to the occasion. "@djokernole is the Best Role Model in sports about MENTAL STRENGTH.
When he Locks in you are Locked out," Macci wrote on X.
Macci: Djokovic 'the best role model in sports about mental strength'
In Paris, Djokovic wasn't as dominant as usual and three of his five wins came in three sets.
But Djokovic was dealing with certain physical issues that not many players could overcome and win the title. “People expect you to always be at your best, to be always reaching the finals, I mean in my case. I'm glad that that's the case, that people kind of see me as one of the main favourites in every single tournament.
But at the same time, we are also human beings that have to deal with different things off the court, whether it's health-wise, emotions, or whatever is happening in your private life. So all of it has an effect on how you feel on the court and how you perform.
Yeah, I tried to do my very best this week and I think I have done under the circumstances. Did I play my best tennis? I don't think I played my best tennis. In every match actually, my level was not to the level that I normally would play the biggest tournaments.
But it's one of those weeks where you just have to accept the circumstances and fight to survive another day," Djokovic said after winning Paris.