The Day After: Novak Djokovic with the Australian Open trophy, his ninth, at Brighton Seashore in Melbourne final month.
Picture Credit score: AFP
Kolkata: When in Might, 2018, Novak Djokovic had slipped to No.22 in ATP rankings, not too lots of his followers would have bargained for him to bounce again so shortly. For a similar yr in November, the Serbian had fought again his personal demons efficiently to be again within the No.1 spot once more – and the resurgence of one of many largest champions within the sport was full.
It was therefore a momentous day for him on Monday, ‘‘like a crown of all achievements,’’ to place it in his personal phrases, when he overhauled Roger Federer’s document of a cumulative 310 weeks on the prime of ATP rankings because it was launched 48 years in the past. With him now at 311 weeks, Federer on 310 and Pete Sampras on 286, the customarily misunderstood star has not finished too badly for himself.
The final two years, which noticed ‘Djoko’ spending a complete of 88 weeks at No. 1 throughout two completely different stints, he hardly put a foot improper on a tennis courtroom – barring the evident indiscretion of being disqualified from final yr’s US Open for unintentionally hitting a lady line choose with a ball and naturally, organising that ill-advised Adria Tour within the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The champion’s ego was very a lot evident as Djokovic blew away Daniil Medvedev, the Russian who’s definitely one of many pretenders to take over the mantle from the Large Three, to win his ninth Australian Open trophy and 18th Grand Slam title final month. He additionally holds a document 36 ATP Masters 1000 trophies and first attained the No. 1 rating on July 4, 2011.
“It’s sort of like a crown of all of the achievements that I’ve had within the final 15 or 15-plus years of [my] skilled tennis profession,” Djokovic mentioned in reference to him being now the tennis participant with most variety of weeks on the prime of ATP rankings.
Talking in an interview with CNN’s Christina Macfarlane, Djokoic was candid sufficient to open up on his errors in 2020, saying that he’s human in spite of everything. “I see life as a terrific studying curve and I really feel through the years, I sort of discovered how one can bounce again as a result of although I’ve super expertise of travelling all over the world and being on prime of the boys’s sport for a few years, that has helped me to develop the psychological energy and resilience.
The implosive nature of Djokovic has appear smash his rackets a number of occasions, the most recent one coming within the Australian Open final month.
Picture Credit score: Company
‘‘However I nonetheless am human being as anyone else. I nonetheless have my fears, my insecurities. I nonetheless make errors and errors,” he mentioned.
The implosive nature of the Serbian, which has earned him the doubtful repute of being a serial racket-abuser regardless of being one of many elder statesmen of the sport – is one thing he might definitely have finished with out. “Tennis is sort of my studying floor. My strongest, most lovely feelings floor there, but additionally the worst of my feelings floor there,” he mentioned in a second of reflection.
The interview, which delved into his childhood and rising up a war-torn Belgrade, had Djokovic thanking his mother and father for believing of their baby’s dream – which can not have regarded a practical one given a civil battle then ravaging the nation. “I’ve been so lucky in my life to have mother and father that had been very sturdy in midst of the battle and hardship that we had been dwelling via it through the 90s. And have their unconditional love and assist to play the game that wasn’t even a practice in our household or in our nation. It was very costly sport, however one way or the other they managed to do it, to really purchase me racquets and I might have a coach and I might have situations that had been truthful sufficient or adequate for me to develop as much as be knowledgeable tennis participant,” he mentioned.
Did he truly imagine that he might sooner or later go on to grow to be of the trendy greats of the game? “Goals are achievable. Every part is feasible. I used to be seven years previous and I used to be developing this improvised Wimbledon trophy and, and looking out in my very own mirror within the room and telling myself I’m one of the best tennis participant on the earth and I’m the Wimbledon champion and dream of that.”
Because the tennis fraternity doffed their hats to this man, ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi put issues into perspective when he mentioned: “Novak’s many achievements in tennis are nothing in need of extraordinary. Amongst them, this document could stand as his single-most spectacular. Reaching No. 1 is one thing many gamers dream of and only a few ever accomplish, and to have held the highest spot for longer than anybody is testomony to the degrees of sustained excellence that Novak has redefined in our sport.”
MOST WEEKS AT NO. 1
Participant Weeks at No. 1
1. Novak Djokovic (SRB) 311
2. Roger Federer (SUI) 310
3. Pete Sampras (USA) 286
5. Jimmy Connors (USA) 268