‘I Didn’t Want to Watch the Match’- Novak Djokovic Says He Did Not Cheer for Anyone During the Australian Open 2022 Finals

Published 02/17/2022, 5:42 AM EST
TOKYO, JAPAN – JULY 31: Novak Djokovic of Team Serbia looks on during his Men’s Singles Bronze Medal match against Pablo Carreno Busta of Team Spain on day eight of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Tennis Park on July 31, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Amin Mohammad Jamali/Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic has been in a record 31 Grand Slam finals in his career. Of which, he has won 20. The World No.1 looked in good shape to take that count to 21 at this year’s Australian Open. However, the defending champion missed the chance, citing his deportation tale. 

Talking to the media for the first time after being deported from Australia, Djokovic opened up about how it felt to watch the Australian Open final on TV. The final was much bigger than just a Grand Slam final for Djokovic, as it was a deciding factor of who will step ahead in the race of most Grand Slam titles race.

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Notably, Djokovic was deported from Australia, following a court hearing just a day prior to the start of the event. 

The most difficult feeling

While talking to BBC, Novak was asked how he felt watching the Australian Open finals on TV, where Nadal was taking on Medvedev. 

Answering the question, Djokovic expressed his feeling saying that he didn’t want to watch the match. He said, “I didn’t want to watch the match because I felt I wanted to be on the court. It was really hard for me to watch and participate in a match in any way.”

The 9-time Australian Open champion didn’t just stop here as he went on to further elaborate on whom he cheered for in the finals. “I was very neutral. I didn’t cheer for anyone because I wanted to be there so badly.”

Even though Djokovic faced one of the worst exits of his career at this year’s Australian Open, the Serb was amused to see his family during the Australian Open finals. “I was amused by the circumstances that I was experiencing. My wife was cheering for Medvedev, my son was cheering for Nadal. Every point Rafa would make, Stefan would be jumping around and fist-pumping like Rafa,” he said. 

Novak Djokovic in the Grand Slam race

Novak Djokovic, with 20 Grand Slam titles, shares the second spot with Roger Federer in the Most Grand Slam titles race. The two are superseded by the Spaniard Rafael Nadal, who won his 21st Grand Slam at the 2022 Australian Open.

Djokovic won his first Grand Slam title at the 2008 Australian Open, defeating French Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Three years later, the Serb again rose to victory as he won 3 Grand Slams (Australian Open, Wimbledon, US Open) in 2011. 

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Tennis – ATP Finals – Pala Alpitour, Turin, Italy – November 19, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning his group stage match against Britain’s Cameron Norrie REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Repeating the same pattern, Djokovic again won 1 Grand Slam each in the following years, till 2015, when he again won 3 Grand Slam titles. 

2016, 2018, and 2019 saw Djokovic winning 2 Grand Slam titles each year, followed by just 1 in 2020. However, returning to his vintage form, Djokovic again went on to win 3 Grand Slam titles in 2021. 

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Watch this story- From Locker Room Fight to Deportation: Biggest Australian Open Controversies

The World No. 1 currently holds 9 Australian Open titles, 6 Wimbledon titles, 2 Roland Garros titles, and 3 US Open titles. 

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Ahmar Wasif

953 articles

Ahmar Wasif is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. He is a national level tennis player and has a number of titles to his name. His experience on the court allows him to incorporate a deeper understanding in his coverage of the sport.

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