“Definitely Something That Pleases Me”: Novak Djokovic Opens Up on Being Compared to Lewis Hamilton

Published 06/06/2021, 7:02 AM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 3, 2021 Serbia’a Novak Djokovic reacts during his second round match against Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

The storied career of Novak Djokovic has, in a way, followed the same trajectory as that of Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton. Both have similarly surged to the pinnacle of their respective sport in a manner very few have. Also, when on song, they are literally unstoppable.


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Two-time Roland-Garros champion Jim Courier couldn’t stop himself from drawing a direct parallel between the Serb tennis player and the British racer after the former’s emphatic win over Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania on Saturday.

Jim Courier compared Novak Djokovic’s tennis to Lewis Hamilton’s racing


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Imposing himself on his hapless opponent, the current World No.1 produced scintillating tennis to rout the Lithuanian 6-1, 6-4, 6-1. The victory took Djokovic to the last-16 at Roland-Garros for the 12th straight time.

Effusive in his praise for the Serb, Courier compared the fluidity and sheer dominant nature of the game that he brought to bear on his opponent to Hamilton cruising past the chequered flag with his Mercedes F1 car.

The American said while Berankis is no mean driver, Djokovic seemed to be racing a different car altogether.

“It’s like the dominance of Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes team. Berankis is a great driver, he maximizes everything under the hood. But Novak Djokovic is driving a completely different race car,” Courier said.

He added that the Serb can control the pace of the game in the manner he wants, the Lithuanian doesn’t have similar skills.

“Berankis can’t do the same things. On the same track, he can’t race the same. Novak can drive how he wants,” the American added.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 3, 2021, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning his second-round match against Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

Responding to Courier’s glowing praise, Djokovic said he is honored to have been compared with the champion racer as he happens to be among the athletes that truly inspire him.

“I’m honored to be compared to Lewis. I respect Lewis and everything he does in his career,” the Serb said.

Djokovic says his driving is an embarrassment when compared to Hamilton

However, he added cheekily that he would be embarrassed if his name were to be taken in the same breath as Hamilton when it comes to driving.

“Honestly, it’s embarrassing to speak about my driving, and in the same sentence with Hamilton. I like to drive fast but I have to respect the rules, I guess,” he added.

Watch this story: CHAMPIONS: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, and Others’ Trophy Lifts at French Open


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Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team drive his W12 single-seater during qualifying session of Portuguese GP, third round of Formula 1 World Championship in Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, Mexilhoeira Grande, Portimao, Algarve, 1 May 2021 (Photo by Andrea Diodato/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

However, he said that the comparison of his game to Hamilton’s racing is one that pleases him.

“But the analogy and the comparison of my game with an F1 car, it’s definitely something that pleases me,” the World No.1 said.


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Priyabrata Chowdhury

1101 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.