Tennis

Novak Djokovic and the missed alternatives within the elusive 2022

Novak Djokovic and the missed alternatives within the elusive 2022

Serbia's Novak Djokovic reacts after winning his men's singles tennis match against Spain's Pablo Andujar at the Tel Aviv Watergen Open 2022 in the Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv in Israel on September 29, 2020. 2022. (Photo by JACK GUEZ /AFP) (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Serbian Novak Djokovic greets the general public on the ATP match in Tel-Aviv (Picture by JACK GUEZ/AFP by way of Getty Pictures)

I’m satisfied that Novak Djokovic sees 2022 as a yr of private progress.: After months of ambiguous messages and a greater than controversial entry in Australia, the Serbian determined to imagine all the results derived from his determination relating to the Covid vaccine and cease giving explanations. At press conferences he seems to be extra relaxed, as if an enormous weight had been lifted from him and the Laver Cup, with the splendor round Federer and Nadal, confirmed him as one of many greats in historical past.

Nole appeared comfy in London, nearly completely happy to be there and to give you the chance, after so many misunderstandings, to share standing along with his two nice rivals. His subsequent words-“I’d additionally like my rivals to be in my retreat”– they flee from the self-centeredness that has typically flooded their profession and makes them assume that Every part that has occurred this yr, when it comes to his relationship along with his teammates and the affirmation of his concepts, has made him stronger.

One other factor is the sporty facet. We can’t say that 2022 was a foul yr for Djokovic as a result of he received Wimbledon, even when they didn’t add a single level to him within the rating and took away the 2000 from the earlier yr. That win alone is price a season, however watching him play within the Laver Cup till his wrist harm and considering the model we noticed on Thursday towards Pablo Andújar, whom he destroyed on the fields of Tel-Aviv, it stands to cause that if you look again on this yr, you keep in mind all of the alternatives which have eluded you.

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Lacking Australia, Miami, Indian Wells, Canada, Cincinnati and the US Open in a single yr is an excessive amount of. In fact, if on a private stage it compensates him, there may be nothing to object to, however the aggressive swimsuit is super. The Covid has already triggered Wimbledon 2021 to be suspended when the Serb was the highest favourite. His refusal to be vaccinated, together with the strict Australian and American legal guidelines, have disadvantaged him of collaborating in two different greats through which he may undoubtedly have aspired to the highest.

The consequence? When it comes to the struggle to be the one who has received essentially the most grand slams, as an alternative of having the ability to aspire to 24, he has stayed at 21… And it isn’t unreasonable to assume that Nadal’s model in Australia, with all these agonizing victories, won’t have been sufficient to defeat the nine-time champion of the match. To consider a 22-21, even a 23-21 win on the US Open, in favor of Djokovic, isn’t nonsense, seeing how he performs when he can play. Primary most likely would have stayed in his fingers as nicely, breaking his personal document of 373 weeks on the high.

Sure, 2022 shall be, in reminiscence, a yr filled with hypotheses for Nole. The nice factor is that, whether it is true that it has served to maintain his physique, has lightened his thoughts, and all this with out fully shedding his aggressive rhythm, 2023 seems to be very appetizing for him. As a lot as there was speak on the time of the “Massive 4” or fixed reference to the “Massive 3”, in actuality, since 2011, tennis is a matter of Djokovic and Nadal. In these twelve seasons – forty-seven grand slams – they’ve managed to raise the champion trophy thirty-four occasions. Three out of 4 majors have been in his fingers for greater than a decade.

With Nadal at a troublesome time in his profession, each for private causes and, above all, due to the continual bodily discomfortif the following era does not hurry, Djokovic will nonetheless dominate. Dominating on arduous court docket, on clay, on grass and wherever it’s wanted. In fact, there may be Carlos Alcaraz, however it will be a mistake to placed on the backs of the Murcian that he proceed Rafa’s struggle of all these years. Past the present primary on this planet, not a lot competitors is seen: Zverev continues to be injured, Medvedev, along with his head elsewhere, Tsitsipas goes from all the things to nothing too simply…

The hope stays that Aliassime will make the leap ahead that all of us count on, that Sinner will obtain a bit of extra regularity, that Tiafoe will final this shot of confidence and for Kyrgios to take at the least the grass season significantly, which might be one thing. In any other case, it appears to me that 2023 goes to be a good yr for a Novak hurricane… so long as the accidents respect him, in fact. This season finale will give us some clues about it. If he managed to qualify for the Masters and win it, it will be a brand new milestone in a profession filled with incomparable milestones.

Video | Djokovic vs. Andujar (6-0, 6-3)

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