Novak Djokovic: ‘I rely too much on these defensive skills’

Novak Djokovic will hunt for his sixth seal at the ATP Finals. The Serbian, who has not won the ‘Masters’ tournament’ since 2015, has just returned from his spectacular triumph in Paris-Bercy and wants to end a fantastic season in the best possible way. The number 1 in the world came close to the ‘Calendar Grand Slam’ this year, a dream that disintegrated in the final of the US Open. With just one victory from the legendary finish, Nole paid for the physical and mental exhaustion by clearly yielding to Daniil Medvedev at Arthur Ashe Stadium. After that terrible insult, the 34-year-old from Belgrade took a two-month break in order to recharge his batteries. The stop did him good, as ‘Djoker’ triumphed in the last Masters 1000 of the season, taking revenge on Medvedev. Novak has also guaranteed the mathematical certainty of ending the year at the top of the ATP ranking for the seventh time in his career. In doing so, he surpassed his idol Pete Sampras and further outdistanced eternal rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Interviewed by ‘La Gazzetta dello Sport’, Djokovic analyzed in detail the evolution of his game.

Novak Djokovic on his 2021

“You are constantly looking for the correct formula to be the strongest of all, even at 34 years old. At this age you have to work twice as hard, because the youngest players are strong, have a lot of adrenaline and are very motivated. I need to be rational and not wasting too much energy, as well as being able to take advantage of my greatest experience. It is true that it depends on the type of opponent, but being more aggressive is one of the objectives that I have set myself at this point in my career. I was born with a somewhat more defensive style And with the ability to cover the entire court, and sometimes I rely too much on these defensive qualities” – Novak Djokovic said. “For me, defeat is not just that feeling of disappointment that you live in the moment, but an opportunity to grow mentally, an opportunity to forge your character so that you can come out of a difficult situation as a better person and as a better player. My point of view, mental work has the same value as physical or technical work. You must understand how to deal with negative energies in the most productive way possible.” In this sense, the victories in Turin can give Nole the possibility of equaling a new record: standing alongside Roger Federer at the top of the champions of the masters tournament. A title in Italy would give the Serbian his sixth winch in this event, a goal he does not shy away from, but does not obsess him either. “It is clear that I play every tournament to win it. However, in the ATP Finals the best eight of the year play, so there is no guarantee of success. Setting goals helps me maintain a high level of motivation, keep my concentration high in all the aspects of the game, but I think that everyone finds their greatest motivation within themselves, in the confidence in their own abilities. I do not make comparisons: only the best for myself.”

 

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