‘Novak Djokovic deeply believed it’, says top coach


Novak Djokovic managed to break the hegemony of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, establishing himself as one of the greatest ever. The former world number 1 is still in great shape at 35 and is looking to break other records. The Serbian phenomenon is trying to win his tenth title at the Australian Open, which would allow him to match Nadal at 22 Grand Slams. The 35-year-old from Belgrade closed the gap by triumphing at Wimbledon last year, after the Spaniard had won at the Australian Open and Roland Garros. With Rafa out of contention in Melbourne, Nole has a great opportunity to even the score. The ‘Djoker’ is not at 100% due to a problem with his left hamstring, which however did not prevent him from reaching the round of 16. Goran Ivanisevic’s protégé defeated Grigor Dimitrov in three closely fought sets and will face host Alex de Minaur for a place in the quarterfinals. In a video posted on Instagram, Patrick Mouratoglou explained what allowed Djokovic to reach the top.

Mouratoglou on Nole Djokovic

“I always tell this story, that when Roger and Rafa were dominating the men’s tour outrageously, I had discussions with most of the Top-10s and they were saying to me that it was impossible to win a Slam, in their mind,” Mouratoglou said while reminiscing on the same, in a video on his social media channel. “Then a young guy, 19 years old, suddenly came out and said publicly, ‘I’m gonna beat them.’ And this guy was Novak Djokovic. The tennis world said, ‘What a shame, how this guy can be so cocky?’ and things like this. It’s not cockiness, it’s confidence, and he happened to do it. Not because he said it, but because he deeply believed it,” the French coach added. Novak Djokovic has made his fury with the tennis media clear after they misrepresented him: “In our organisation–ATP or WTA–there has to be a system of timely protection of players, someone who will react, do something about these things. I am an easy target to be the villain. That is how they portray me, for me that is now a normal occurrence–but I will not tolerate injustice,” he said. “Some things I can tolerate, some I cannot–they do not deserve for something like this to just be allowed, to get away with it. Usually I don’t react, even though I could have reacted a thousand times over different things in the past,” he said.

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