‘Probably Was a Bit More Superstitious’ – Novak Djokovic Reveals Why He Used to Shave His Beard Before Every Match

Published 05/07/2022, 1:42 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP 500 – Dubai Tennis Championships – The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates – February 23, 2022 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his second round match against Russia’s Karen Khachanov REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

Novak Djokovic is having the best run of this season. After making it to the finals of the Serbia Open, the 20-times Grand Slam champion has entered the semifinals of the Madrid Open. Yesterday, he comprehensively defeated Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets to enter the last-four stage of the tournament.

Earlier this year, Djokovic had a forgettable time with the visa controversy surrounding him in Australia. Subsequently, he had disappointing campaigns in Dubai and Monte Carlo, making surprise exits at the early stages of the tournaments.

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However, the Serb has regained his lost mojo back and is looking to win his first title this season in Madrid. After receiving a bye in the third round in Madrid, the 34-year-old opened up about his belief in superstitions.

Novak Djokovic reveals being superstitious when younger

The Serb was due to face Andy Murray in the pre-quarterfinals of the Madrid Open. However, the Briton had to withdraw from the match due to illness. Further, in the post-match interview, Prakash Amritraj asked Djokovic if he was a superstitious guy. Answering this question, Djokovic replied, “Well, I don’t know, I probably was a bit more superstitious when I was younger. I remember I was shaving my beard basically for every match.”

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Sep 12, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia speaks to the crowd during the trophy presentation ceremony after his match against Daniil Medvedev of Russia (not pictured) in the men’s singles final on day fourteen of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

Further, he added, “I had to look fresh because my grandfather when he was still alive, he would criticize me a lot if I had some beard on. So, it was like little bit of an ongoing internal family relationship thing. But, I don’t like to shave my beard fully nowadays. I don’t know, I am skinny anyway, so I feel like I shave it all, then it makes me look even skinnier.”

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In the semifinals, Djokovic will face the in-form Spanish star, Carlos Alcaraz. The latter had defeated Rafael Nadal yesterday in a thrilling three-setter quarterfinal battle. While Djokovic is yet to win a title this season, Alcaraz already has won titles at the Rio Open, Miami Open, and the Barcelona Open. Who will prevail in their first battle against each other? Let us know your views in the comments below.

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Vatsal Shah

673 articles

Vatsal Shah is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. With a Bachelor's degree in engineering, he is a die hard fan of tennis and sports in general. He is an ardent follower of Rafael Nadal and is inspired by his never-say-die attitude.

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