Tennis

Will Novak Djokovic’s frustration cause him to take a break from playing on tour?

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     The Serbian was winding down to not losing a set at the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters final. He was feeling confident and positive until Casper Ruud came along and gave him that losing jolt at the beginning of his clay court season. The Norwegian was happy for not only winning the semifinal but the first time ever after six meetings being successful over Djokovic. There were scary times when onlooking fans saw Novak trembling; whether it be from physical exhaustion or mental stamina lost. Djokovic has undergone stress big time lately. He has let his coach Goran Ivanisevic go after six years on the team and wonders what’s the next step to spark up his performances. “We went through many moments that were not…pleasant.” But Djokovic confesses “Despite everything, he was there for me.” The game of Novak is spectacular enough that no other coach can just come in and take over. “I don’t have a clear idea who could replace him…I’m trying to sense what exactly I need.” But Djokovic didn’t take much time in deciding on a temporary coach in fellow Serbian legend and ex-doubles Grand Slam Nenad Zimonjic who’ll accompany him on tournaments.

     The beginning of the season didn’t go exactly as planned. Djokovic was pushed out of the Australian Open  semifinal by Jannik Sinner in 4 sets. The result stung quite a bit leaving the Serb no other choice but rest and regroup to get back in with a winning performance. He didn’t compete again until  Indian Wells where he was bumped out by a 75th ranked lucky loser qualifier Luca Nardi. Yes, embarrassed probably. Novak felt the bite of defeat and wanted to fix it. But he gave his good reasoning powers to say “It’s fine. You know it’s part of the sport. Some you win; some you lose.” Djokovic was only grateful to reach the Monte Carlo semis after 9 long fought years.

     The Serbian is facing some hard facts that will obviously cause him to take a deeper look at his time on tour. Now he’s without a coach, suffered a lackluster Australian slam, defeated by a lucky loser and now the Monte Carlo fiasco. “I haven’t really been close to my best,” he said putting his head down in disbelief. Novak hasn’t reached a final this 2024 season which to him and most seems unbelievable. “Hopefully in the next tournaments, I will be able to play better.” But the case in point is when will it come or if it will get here in time for the next grand slam — The French Open. No one knows or can predict anything, not even Novak Djokovic.

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