“If I win the Davis Cup with Serbia at the weekend, I will really be able to say that this is my best season,” said the Serb, after conceding five and six games in Turin to his successors Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner in the semi-final and final respectively.
“The matches against Alcaraz and Sinner are probably my two best of the season. I beat Jannik in front of his fans and made up for the defeat during the week. When I confirmed number one at the end of the season with a win over Rune, I wasn’t here anymore mentally. It affected my game. Thanks to Jannik for taking me to the semi-finals. When I got this opportunity, I said to myself, show what you can do. And I won four of the five biggest laurels of the year,” said Đoković, whose perfect season was surpassed only by Alcaraz by winning in five sets in the Wimbledon final.
Ivanišević: “If you doubt yourself a little, it will eat you like a lion”
“Tactically, he played completely differently than in Tuesday’s defeat. There was a lot of pressure on Jannik and Novak took advantage of it. Even if you doubt yourself a little against Novak, it’s not good for you. When you face a lion, it will eat you in two seconds,said Djokovic’s coach Goran Ivanisevic and added: “As soon as it was clear that he was in the semi-finals, I knew he was going to win the tournament. The mentality has changed, a new Djokovic has arrived. When the real Novak comes, no one can play with him.”
Roland Garros turning point
According to Djokovic, the key moment of the season was Roland Garros. “I’ve learned and confirmed that it’s the right schedule that gets results. I wasn’t ready for the clay season until Roland Garros. I doubted my game. Then I consulted with my team and this victory in Paris gave me wings to continue the season. I only lost two matches after that,” said Đoković, who ended the season with a 55:6 record.
Which Djokovic is better? This one or the one from ten years ago? “I would say that this Novak would beat the one from ten years ago. But moments are different. I don’t play like I used to. Now I have to choose tournaments. I’ve been asked a similar question before and I replied that it could be a job for a 36-year-old. Just kidding, but I know I would torture my younger self.“
Djokovic’s goals are clear. “I’m going to all four next year tournaments for grand slam and olympics. I’ll also try to get close to Jimmy Connors’ record,” said Đoković, who reached his 98th tournament laurel in Turin. He is preceded by Roger Federer (103) and Jimmy Connors (109).