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Saturday, February 22, 2020

Articles tagged: Novak Djokovic

Watch: Novak Djokovic shouts out young son after Wimbledon win

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic’s 13th major title was just a little more special for a very good reason.

Djokovic won his first major title in two years by beating Kevin Anderson in straight sets at Wimbledon on Sunday, and it also happened to be the first one that his oldest son Stefan has been old enough to at least comprehend.

Djokovic was quick to point out his three-year-old son in his post-match interview, as the youngster could only witness the trophy presentation due to the fact that Wimbledon doesn’t allow children under five to attend matches at Centre Court.

This will have been a particularly meaningful win for Djokovic. Beyond having his son there, it also capped a comeback from elbow issues that plagued him and threatened to permanently derail his career.

Novak Djokovic says he had small medical intervention on elbow

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic underwent what he termed was a “small medical intervention” on his troublesome elbow recently.

Djokovic has been bothered by his elbow for two years and took six months off last year to rest it, hoping that would resolve his issues. However, he still felt pain while competing in the Australian Open last month and decided to undergo some “intervention” as he termed it.

Here’s the message Djokovic shared on Instagram Friday explaining what happened:

Hey guys, I owe you some news about my recovery. I’ve been carrying this injury for the past two years, and during this time I’ve been seeing many doctors. Truth be told, there were many different opinions, different diagnoses, different suggestions… It was not easy for me to choose which way to go and what to do. I took 6 months off last season hoping to come back fully recovered, but unfortunately I still felt pain. I really missed competing, it’s in my blood and I had to give it a try on AO. Anyhow, I agreed with my team that I would try different methods after I finish in Australia and a few days ago I accepted to do a small medical intervention on my elbow. It seems like I am on the good road now to full recovery. It’s quite a journey this one, I have to say. I’m learning a lot and for that I’m grateful. I’ve always taken care of my body and looked for the most natural ways to heal, and my body has rewarded me with some incredible years on tour. I am super positive and excited to follow my recovery through so I can come back to the place I love the most. The court. I’ll keep you posted and thanks for cheering me on!

A post shared by Novak Djokovic (@djokernole) on

“Hey guys, I owe you some news about my recovery. I’ve been carrying this injury for the past two years, and during this time I’ve been seeing many doctors,” Djokovic wrote on Instagram. “Truth be told, there were many different opinions, different diagnoses, different suggestions… It was not easy for me to choose which way to go and what to do. I took 6 months off last season hoping to come back fully recovered, but unfortunately I still felt pain. I really missed competing, it’s in my blood and I had to give it a try on AO. Anyhow, I agreed with my team that I would try different methods after I finish in Australia and a few days ago I accepted to do a small medical intervention on my elbow. It seems like I am on the good road now to full recovery. It’s quite a journey this one, I have to say. I’m learning a lot and for that I’m grateful. I’ve always taken care of my body and looked for the most natural ways to heal, and my body has rewarded me with some incredible years on tour. I am super positive and excited to follow my recovery through so I can come back to the place I love the most. The court. I’ll keep you posted and thanks for cheering me on!”

Djokovic’s status for the upcoming months is unclear. He was eliminated in the fourth round of the Australian Open, which has been his best major throughout his career. Last year he bowed out in Melbourne in the second round, marking his worst finish at a grand slam event since 2008. Getting his elbow repaired will be critical to him regaining his spot atop the men’s tennis rankings.

Novak Djokovic advocating for players to form union

Novak Djokovic celebration

Novak Djokovic’s attempt to unionize his fellow men’s tennis players has been the talk of the Australian Open so far.

According to the Daily Mail, Djokovic spoke at the annual player meeting at the Australian Open on Friday night. Djokovic reportedly spoke last, politely asked non-players to leave the room, then brought up a lawyer to help make the argument for why the players should unionize.

For now, the players are partners with tennis tournaments on the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) Tour, where tournaments offer varying levels of prize money depending on the event category. The grand slams determine their prize money pots.

Djokovic is president of the ATP Player Council, so he is active in these subject matters. He even got into some hot water two years ago when he suggested men deserved a greater share of revenue than women at events where it’s proven they are bigger draws.

Among the top names in the sport, Roger Federer is said to be opposed to unionizing, while Andy Murray reportedly favors it. Either way, the threat of a union could lead grand slam events to bump the pay closer to levels Djokovic finds satisfactory.

Report: Novak Djokovic could miss rest of season with elbow injury

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic is dealing with an elbow injury that reportedly could end his season.

Serbian outlet Zurnal spoke with the doctor for the Tennis Federation of Serbia, who told them Djokovic has a bone bruise in his elbow that needs 6-12 weeks of recovery time. He believes that Djokovic shutting things down for the rest of the year might be a good idea so the former world No. 1 player can heal.

Djokovic has been in a major decline since enjoying mind-blowing success when he held all four majors at the same time during a stretch between 2015 and 2016. He went out early at Wimbledon in 2016 and at the Australian Open earlier this year, as well as at the Olympics.

Reports have said Djokovic is going through personal issues. But the Serbian star, who withdrew from his quarterfinals match against Tomas Berdych at Wimbledon because of elbow problems, said that his elbow had been bothering him for a year and a half.

Djokovic and his wife are expecting their second child. Perhaps some time off from the game to heal both mentally and physically could go a long way towards reviving the 30-year-old’s career.

Novak Djokovic responds to John McEnroe family comments

Novak Djokovic shirt

John McEnroe turned heads this week with some comments comparing Novak Djokovic to Tiger Woods. A day later, Djokovic responded.

While providing commentary for BBC Wednesday, McEnroe talked about Nole’s troubles on the court and said the former No. 1 reminded him of Woods.

“The person that comes to mind immediately with Novak is not a tennis player, it’s actually a golfer: Tiger Woods,” McEnroe said. “… [Woods] had the issues with his wife, and then he seemed to go completely off the rails and has never been even close to being the same player.

“So we’re starting to say: ‘Wait a minute, is this possible with [Djokovic]?'”

After his straight sets victory at Wimbledon Thursday in the second round, Djokovic was asked about McEnroe’s words and responded. He said that McEnroe had the right to be a critic and said he doesn’t take the criticism personally.

“He’s very well-known for his kind of bold comments and not really caring too much about being politically correct, but saying whatever is on his mind. That’s all I can say. I really don’t take anything personal,” Djokovic said in response.

The comparison to Tiger is an allusion to rumors that Djokovic is having family problems, perhaps involving his relationship with his wife. Djokovic has struggled with his tennis over the past year, losing early at Wimbledon last year, the Australian Open, the Olympics, and his No. 1 ranking. He recently worked out a deal with Andre Agassi in hopes of turning around his slide.

Steffi Graf urged Andre Agassi to take job with Novak Djokovic

Andre Agassi Steffi Graf

Andre Agassi will begin a new coaching relationship with Novak Djokovic at the French Open, and the Serbian tennis star has Steffi Graf to thank.

According to Sky Sports, Agassi recently said that he turned Djokovic down when Nole first called about the job. But it was Andre’s wife, former No. 1 tennis player Graf, who told him to take the gig.

“Novak called me about three weeks ago and I said ‘no’ at the start,” Agassi said, according to Sky Sports. “But my wife said ‘you should go, you will love it’. We had organised a family trip during Roland Garros anyway which was planned for a long time.”

Agassi apparently changed his mind and plans because he will be coaching Djokovic at Roland Garros. He also thinks the former No. 1 has nowhere to go but up considering Djokovic’s recent slide.

Since winning five of six majors during a span between 2015 and 2016, Djokovic has made a pair of early-round exits at majors, as well as a first-round loss in the Olympics. He also has had several surprising losses in tournaments this year, including a pair to Nick Kyrgios. Agassi should be a major benefit to Djokovic’s team.

Report: Andre Agassi a candidate to coach Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic celebration

Novak Djokovic announced major changes to his coaching staff last week, and he has implied a big name will be joining his team. One report says that person could be Andre Agassi.

The Daily Telegraph reported on Monday that Agassi is a candidate to join Djokovic’s team. Djokovic’s agent told the outlet that the group is just in the early stages of discussions with interested candidates.

Djokovic on Friday announced the changes to his team, which involved parting ways with three members of his staff, including coach Marian Vajda, as well as his fitness coach and physiotherapist.

On Sunday, Djokovic hinted that his next coach will be a big name.

“It’s going to be someone that has been through similar experiences like I have,” said Djokovic from the Madrid Masters. “Not too many people in the past of tennis have managed to get to that stage and play at that level, so I’ll see.

“I’m thinking slowly and thoroughly about it. I don’t want to take things with a rush.”

Djokovic is making a change at a time when his game is slipping. He lost in the third round at Wimbledon last year; the second round of the Australian Open this year; and the first round of the Olympics. That’s all for a player who won five of six grand slams during the first six majors between 2015 and 2016. Boris Becker parted ways with him as coach, saying Djokovic’s focuses wasn’t where it needed to be. Perhaps the next coach can help get Djokovic back to his top levels.

But would Agassi even have interest in the position? In a March interview with The Guardian, Agassi expressed interest in coaching a few talented players who he feels are underachieving. However, he said he didn’t think he would have room for it now.

“I would not have any room now with my kids, who are 15 and 13. So the answer is no. I wouldn’t be able to do it because I couldn’t do it the way I would need to do it,” Agassi told The Guardian.

That raises questions about his ability to coach Djokovic. Perhaps if he coached in a more limited role and weren’t handling the Serbian star day-to-day, such an arrangement would work. It sure would turn a lot of heads if it happened.