"I had to fight my way back," the No. 1 ATP's Novak Djokovic had said at the beginning of the season after winning the Australian Open from Dominic Thiem in 5 sets while being down a few. It might have been a struggle against the fiery Austrian, but Djokovic survived and conquered when his back was against the wall in digging out successes.
The Dubai tournament was the sam, but he'd win it over the NextGen Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-4. It was his 5th Dubai crown but he took nothing for granted. "I love being in this City. It's one of the centers for tennis...Consistency, shots from the baseline...I have to be grateful for this opportunity..."
he honestly said after his title won. But that was right before the Pandemic and things became blurred as to what would happen with the world's health and the status of professional tennis. The Serbian's quest for digging out wins and titles was halted and for onths the tour could see no events to start because of the coronavirus crisis.
Novak Djokovic along with his brother organized an ehibition event out of the hunger to play tennis again. The Adria tour located in the Serbian Areas of the country: Belgrade, Zadar and Croatia was well meant taking place June 13-July 5.
The government tave their approval and assurance that the virus there had significantly lessened. The players had entered as Grigor Dimitrov and Borna Coric to name a few. The tour unfortunately was plagued as social distancing was taken for granted in the stands and at a players' party.
Dimitrov was the first to be sickened by the virus. Coric, the second and as well as Djokovic, his wife and Viktor Troicki with a few others and non players to come down with COVID-19. "It was a good cause, driven by the right reason, but the end result was pretty disastrous," Tennis Channel's Paul Annacone had commented.
After quarantining from the virus the players including Djokovic thought not to travel to the United States for the Western and Southern and the U.S. Open both to be played at Flushing Meadows. The crisis was still there but also lessening and doubt loomed as many players decided not to go.
The Serb wasn't sure especially that he wasn't feeling 100% after being stricken but did go and won the Western and Southern title over Canada's Milos Raonic in three sets. It would be his second title of the W&S in three years.
He'd gotten past Robert Bautista Agut the tough Spaniard with a tiebreak and felt fortunate. Yet the Serb was visibly exhausted and went through to the U.S. Open. He had success in the first few rounds. Djokovic's most disturbing blunder though was at the third round when he had mistakenly hit a line judge in the throat after a careless stroke of dispair.
"It was totally unexpected...to hit her," Djokovic had pleaded. But the action was already done an dhe had relinquished his supposed title, embarrassed, disgusted and having to experience being defaulted. "I felt sorry to cause the shock and drama to her...I'm gonna try my best that something like that never happens again," he'd said sympathetically.
It made a strong impression on the Serb but not much time was left for pity parties.
The time was now to move on and he did in Rome nearly completing the tournament without almost losing a set. The final was rough with the Argentinian Diego Schwartzman but he won in straight sets his fifth Rome title.
He had created a strong record book with the wins of 287 weeks at No. 1 . He had accomplished 36 ATP Masters 1000 titles squeezing over Rafael Nadal with 35. He says of his superior play that "It was a great week, a very challenging week...I think I found my best tennis when I needed it the most in the decisive moments...that makes me definitely very satisfied and proud that I managed to fingd that fifth gear when it was most needed..."
The French Open is nearly here and Djokovic has come out victorious since the Pandemic with not only making it into the finals of his own founded tour, but grabbing the titles of the Western and Souther and the Italian Open events.
What's left to come at Roland Garros is Novak Djokovic to be a heavy favorite to not only go the distance, but possibly to win his second French Open title after a four-year drought.