Novak Djokovic endured a strange 2020 ATP season. He finished as World No.1 but didn’t really enjoy the latter part of the year. The Serbian lost the Roland Garros finals in straight sets, but his long-time coach Marian Vajda doesn’t want to dwell on the defeat too much.
Tennis is an extremely competitive sport and Djokovic has enjoyed peak success in recent years. However, he stumbled in 2020 after the coronavirus hiatus. Nole neither won the US Open nor Roland Garros and finished the season with just one Grand Slam or lower for the first time since 2017.
Djokovic made an amazing transition from hard courts to clay as he won the Italian Open 2020. It proved as a strong sign ahead of the French Open, but he just lost rhythm in the finals. Rafael Nadal looked too strong and raced to a comprehensive victory to seal title #13.
Marian Vajda has been coaching Novak Djokovic since his career’s inception and thus he knows about everything about his game. The 55-year-old recently opened up on Nole’s Roland Garros loss and said:
“It was cold and windy in Paris and many said that such conditions could suit Novak. However, Rafa gave an excellent performance in the finals, he had an incredible length of strokes. Novak was not completely in his skin,” stated Vajda (Quotes translated from Slovak via Google).
Novak Djokovic never really looked like coming back into the match. Nadal started off on a brilliant note and never looked slowing down until he reached the finish line.
Djokovic was expected to triumph at the ATP Finals once again. He had a chance to join Roger Federer as the players with most titles, but the Serbian fell short and squandered the chance. Dominic Thiem overpowered Djokovic in the semis and Vajda has a strange explanation for it.
“Novak may not have had such motivation, as he practically secured the post of the end-of-year world unit at the tournament in Vienna. He led 4:0 over Dominique in the deciding set (sic), but he lacked a spark,” he mentioned.
This response will have everyone wondering if Novak Djokovic wasn’t ready to give his 100% at the year-end event. As mentioned by Vajda, the 33-year-old had already secured the end-of-year World No.1 title, prior to the event’s commencement in London.
But it is surprising to hear Djokovic’s coach mention that as a reason why he might’ve lost at the ATP Finals. A demotivated Djokovic crashed out in the semi-finals to effectively end his 2020 season with four titles to his name.