“Could’ve Won All Slams”: Tennis Legend Feels Novak Djokovic Was Scarred After Unfortunate Incidents Last Season

Published 02/21/2021, 2:52 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during his third round match against Taylor Fritz of the U.S. REUTERS/Loren Elliott


World No. 1 Novak Djokovic began last season winning his eighth Australian Open title. After that, due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, tennis came to a halt and resumed after a few months with the US Open being the first Major played after AO, followed by Roland Garros. 

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During the US Open, Novak was disqualified for hitting a ball that struck a lineswoman standing behind him. It was more of an act of frustration displayed by the Serbian star than anything malicious. However, the World No. 1 was defaulted for the act, ending his bid for an 18th Slam in bizarre fashion. 

SEPTEMBER 06: Novak Djokovic of Serbia tends to a line judge Laura Clark who was hit with the ball during his Men’s Singles fourth round match against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain on Day Seven of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 6, 2020, in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

After that, Novak lost to Rafael Nadal in the final of the French Open, during which the Spaniard dismantled the Serb in straight sets. During that match, Nadal won the opening set 6-0. These results were a huge setback for Djokovic, especially given the manner in which he’d begun the season. 

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“Novak Djokovic Is Still the Best Player in the World,” says Todd Woodbridge

Australian legend Todd Woodbridge spoke about the incidents and the negative effect they took on the Serb. He said, “When he won the Australian Open, he was about to go on a rampage. These incidents (US Open disqualification and French Open loss)  have some scarring that he has to get over … I think last year, mentally, has a bit of scarring which he somehow has to get rid of. He’s still the best player in the world.”

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his semi-final match against Russia’s Aslan Karatsev REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

At the moment, Novak is preparing himself for the final of the Australian Open 2021. He will face a huge threat in Russian tennis player Daniil Medvedev later today.

It will be Daniil’s second attempt to win his maiden Grand Slam title. However, he has his task cut out for him as Djokovic has won the Australian Open eight times, making him the most successful player in modern history at this venue (Melbourne). 

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Will Medvedev be able to become the first man to break Djokovic’s perfect record at the Australian Open finals? While that remains to be seen, it promises to be a riveting contest no matter what the result.

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Rohan Kollare

583 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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