One of the most difficult but necessary parts of sports — and life — is bouncing back after a defeat. That is much easier said than done, as Novak Djokovic could tell you.
Djokovic conducted an interview with Sky Sports Italy that was published on Wednesday. In the interview, he talked about some highs and lows in his tennis career. One of the lows came after he blew a two-set lead in the quarterfinals of the French Open and lost to Jurgen Melzer.
“It was a bad moment, I wanted to leave tennis because I saw everything black,” Djokovic said. “It was a transformation, because after that defeat I freed myself. I had won in Australia in 2008, I was number 3 in the world but I wasn’t happy. I knew I could do more, but I lost the most important games against Federer and Nadal. From that moment I took the pressure off, I started playing more aggressively. That was the turning point.”
Djokovic of course stuck with tennis and became the No. 1 player in the world a year after that loss. He is currently the No. 1-ranked player in the world and has won 17 grand slam titles. Earlier this year, he captured the Australian Open for the eighth time in his career.
Rafael Nadal stood up for fellow top men’s tennis player Novak Djokovic.
Nadal is set to take on Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinals of the US Open. He is the only member of the “big three” remaining in the tournament after Djokovic lost in the fourth round to Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer was defeated by Grigor Dimitrov in five sets.
Djokovic’s exit was controversial due to his retirement after being down two sets and trailing in the third set when he decided he could no longer continue. Djokovic received boos from the US Open fans, which did not sit well with Nadal.
“I believe that he’s a super athlete,” Nadal said of Djokovic Monday night. “If he had to go is because he was not able to continue at all. For him is much more painful than for anyone on that Arthur Ashe Stadium. He missed an opportunity to win another Grand Slam.”
Nadal is right; there is no way Djokovic wanted to miss out on a grand slam opportunity. Nole was dealing with a shoulder injury prior to the tournament and was bothered by it in the early rounds of the major. The question some are wondering is why he didn’t make it through four more games to give Wawrinka a clean win. Why did he choose to retire when he did? Nadal’s point seems to be, don’t concern yourself with those issues; if Djokovic could have kept competing, he would have.
Novak Djokovic was booed off Arthur Ashe Stadium at the US Open in Flushing, New York on Sunday night for retiring from his match due to injury.
Djokovic has been battling a shoulder injury for the past month or so and has been receiving treatment for it. He even said after his second round match that the shoulder had been affecting him.
The world No. 1 player dropped the first set of his fourth round match with Stan Wawrinka 4-6 and blew a 4-1 lead in the second set to lose 7-5. Down two sets to none in the best-of-five match, Djokovic decided he could no longer continue after falling behind 2-1 in the third. During the side change, Djokovic said he was done and congratulated Wawrinka on the win.
Perhaps upset with Djokovic for quitting early rather than playing out the set, fans booed the Serbian star.
— Omar Moore (@thepopcornreel) September 2, 2019
The 16-time major winner was looking to repeat at the US Open this year, but it wasn’t to be. He still was able to win his seventh Australian Open and fifth Wimbledon, so 2019 was positive for Djokovic in terms of majors.
This is the second time recently we’ve seen a star athlete get booed. Do you think he deserved it?
Novak Djokovic made it through to the third round of the US Open with a straight set 6-4, 7-6, 6-1 victory over Juan Ignacio Londero on Wednesday night in New York, but the win did not come easily.
Djokovic was seen grabbing at his left shoulder multiple times throughout the match and received treatment on it at various points.
Djokovic has the trainer out to get some treatment on that left shoulder – he also had work done on his shoulder during his pre-match warm-up on Ashe earlier in the day…https://t.co/X9w6qio5Oo pic.twitter.com/ULIpe617ys
— Live Tennis (@livetennis) August 28, 2019
He was asked about his shoulder injury during an on-court interview with ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi after the match.
“It was definitely affecting my serve and backhand,” Djokovic acknowledged. “I don’t want to talk about it too much. … This is something I’ve been carrying for quite a while now. It wasn’t easy playing with the pain, but you have to find a way to fight and hope you get some lucky shots, you get some opportunities when they’re presented and take them.”
Djokovic acknowledged the match was difficult but did not want to dwell on his shoulder injury.
“It’s not the first time I’m facing this kind of adversity or challenge. It is what it is and I’m just grateful to be on the court,” he said.
Nole joked that he probably would freeze his arm for the next 48 hours so he could recover for his third-round opponent.
The 32-year-old, who won the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year, is looking to win the US Open for the second straight year and fourth time overall.
Djokovic prevailed against Roger Federer in the finals of the grand slam with a five-set win, 7-6, 1-6, 7-6, 4-6 and 13-12. He won each of his three sets in tiebreakers — the fifth stopping at 12-12 for the first time ever due to a rule change.
After he won the marathon match, he decided to eat some of the grass on Centre Court at the All England Club.
When Breakfast at Wimbledon turns into Dinner at Wimbledon
— ATP Tour (@ATP_Tour) July 14, 2019
That keeps up a tradition that Dokovic had done when he won in 2015 and 2018 as well.
“If not the thrilling and most exciting finals I ever was part of, it’s top two or three,” Djokovic said after the match.
“It was a great match. It was long. It had everything. I had my chances, so did he,” Federer said.
This is Dokovic’s fifth Wimbledon win. He now has 16 career majors, four short of Federer’s 20 and two short of Rafael Nadal’s 18.
Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic treated fans to arguably the greatest final match in Wimbledon history on Sunday, and it sounds like Andy Roddick was exhausted just watching it.
At some point in the middle of a lengthy fifth set, one of Roddick’s Twitter followers asked him what it feels like to take part in a match that lasts well over four hours. Roddick had a great response.
Like it’s easy from the couch :) https://t.co/eUGa7ABhHj
— andyroddick (@andyroddick) July 14, 2019
We can only imagine how exhausted Federer and Djokovic were. The match featured an insane 35-shot rally and was the longest final in Wimbledon history. It was also the first time the final featured a fifth-set tiebreak, so it goes without saying that it was a test of endurance. Roddick retired from tennis several years ago, and he’s clearly at peace with his decision.
Two of the greatest tennis players of all time met in the championship match at Wimbledon on Sunday, and to say they did not disappoint would be an understatement.
Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic had several long rallies during their match, but the most impressive came during the fourth set. It lasted a remarkable 35 shots and ended with Federer getting the point.
— ESPN (@espn) July 14, 2019
Federer eventually won the set to force a fifth and deciding set. The 35-shot rally was a prime example of the incredible conditioning these guys possess.