Rod Laver encourages Novak Djokovic: He will come back stronger and more motivated"

The legendary former Australian tennis player spoke about the Serbian ATP No.1's semifinal defeat against Jannik Sinner, in Melbourne

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Rod Laver encourages Novak Djokovic: He will come back stronger and more motivated"
© Daniel Pockett / Stringer Getty Images Sport

Novak Djokovic's defeat in the semifinals at the Australian Open 2024 against Jannik Sinner generated comments from the media, insiders and fans regarding an alleged generational change which, at this point, would be purely physiological.

There are those who, like some Serbian media, attribute Nole's defeat to flu problems that limited his performances in Melbourne, those who attribute all the credit to Jannik's fantastic performances. The debate is very lively these days. Are we heading towards a generational transition or will Djokovic return to dominating the Slams?

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic© Daniel Pockett / Stringer Getty Images Sport
 

The legendary Rod Laver, a former Australian tennis player capable of achieving the Grand Slam twice in 1962 and 1969, underlined how Djokovic will return to dominate in the Majors and that the Serbian is far from ready for the generational change.

"Novak is an incredible champion. He constantly fuels his mental strength and motivation. Precisely for this reason and for all the successes he has achieved in his career it is expected that he can always win every match. In my opinion Novak Djokovic will have learned something from this defeat. He will recover and come back stronger and more motivated once again," Laver said.

"It is difficult to make comparisons between the different tennis Eras"

Asked what Djokovic lacked to be able to achieve the Grand Slam, a feat that has always eluded him, Laver analyzed: "Tennis can always be unpredictable. There are no certainties. Winning all four Grand Slams in the same year in singles is one of the rarest honors. It means having to win 28 matches in the toughest matches that everyone wants to try to win. You have to hope to be well, stay in shape and above all you have to be able to beat all the strongest tennis players in the world more than once."

Speaking of GOAT, Laver did not go into the merits of the issue, avoiding taking a clear position, as it is impossible to compare athletes from eras that are too distant.

"I have always said and I repeat that it is difficult to make comparisons between the different tennis Eras. Over time, too many factors have changed, from materials to athletic preparation. Today there are entire teams that work for the players. The best thing is to celebrate the feats without doing comparisons," he explained.

Rod Laver Novak Djokovic Jannik Sinner
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