‘The revenge Novak Djokovic most probably wants will be…’, says legend


Novak Djokovic is preparing to return to Melbourne Park after missing the 2022 edition due to his vaccination status. The Serbian phenomenon hopes to be able to win his tenth Australian Open, which would allow him to equal Rafael Nadal at 22 Grand Slams. The Spaniard won the Australian Open and Roland Garros last year, while Nole had to ‘settle’ for Wimbledon. The 35-year-old from Belgrade equaled his idol Pete Sampras with seven wins at Church Road and was literally unstoppable in the second half of 2022. The ‘Djoker’ also conquered the ATP Finals in Turin, the Masters 1000 in Rome, the ATP 500 of Astana and the ATP 250 of Tel Aviv. Many are wondering how Djokovic will be received in Melbourne, after the bad soap opera that cost him his expulsion from the country and a three-year ban. The new government lifted that ban and the other players expressed their happiness to see Novak back in Australia. Speaking to Eurosport, Mats Wilander analyzed Djokovic’s chances of reaching the AOs in double figures.

Djokovic has an enviable record at the Australian Open

“The revenge Novak Djokovic most probably wants will be winning in Melbourne. The race is back on. If he wins it. It’s 22-22 (Grand Slams tally with Nadal). He has got to get to 22 before the French Open comes in May because Rafa might grab another one. You cannot lose in Melbourne and be 21, and Rafa gets to 23,” Wilander said. “I think that in today’s men’s professional tennis, a lot of them have grown up on clay, but on hard courts, they are all experts,” said Wilander. “I think that if you win 10 Australian Opens on hard courts, that means you have to beat maybe the best field in tennis because everybody knows how to play on hard courts. So I think that achievement would be unbelievable. Nine is already unbelievable.” Nole won 9 Australian Open titles. “I think Novak is the number one favourite for many, many reasons. I mean, obviously, one reason is that he’s won the Australian Open nine times. The surface is perfect for him,” Wilander said. “When you play the way Novak plays, he doesn’t have ups and downs. Everybody is not 100% ready in Australia. Some are very ready, some are not ready, and he is always somewhat ready. Somewhat ready for him means he’s the favourite,” he added. After 2022 started with Novak Djokovic’s deportation from Australia amid a Covid vaccine scandal, the tennis year continued to throw up controversy as Russian and Belarusian players were banned from Wimbledon last summer.

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