“Gritty Gritty Effort”: Andy Roddick and Tennis Community Stunned With Novak Djokovic’s Extraordinary Comeback

Published 05/15/2021, 8:36 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 15, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning his quarter final match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane


World No.1 Novak Djokovic gave it all to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas and reach the semifinals of the Italian Open 2021. Djokovic again triumphed in the toughest of situations and won a three-hour thriller. Unsurprisingly, the tennis community was stunned by this valiant effort.

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Novak Djokovic celebrates during his quarter-final match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Djokovic played catch-up to Tsitsipas from the start of the match. He lost the first set and was 4-2 behind in the second set. As the match was not continuous, the Serbian couldn’t forge a momentum shift. Yet, Djokovic made his first comeback in the second set.

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Later, Djokovic was again down in the final set, 3-1 and Tsitsipas even served for the match, but Djokovic broke back in the tensest situation and moved ahead. Seeing this former World No.1 Andy Roddick reiterated Djokovic’s mental toughness in these situations.

“Gritty gritty effort from Novak. Nobody feels safer in the tough moments. Can find the corners/switch directions w plenty of margin. Makes it look easy. I promise it’s not.”

WTA tennis player Alize Cornet was spellbound with the match and was glued to her television, watching the epic.

“Omg this match between Stef and Novak. Unbelieveble level !”

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The match had multiple breaks because of rain. It was originally scheduled to get over yesterday, but lasting showers in Rome prevented that. Tsitsipas was at his peak yesterday and started ahead when the play resumed. But Djokovic resisted and extended the match slowly to bring parity.

After losing the second set, Djokovic still looked a bit behind as Tsitsipas eyed a crucial win. The Greek did everything in his arsenal to win, but Djokovic held on. Serving at 5-4 in the last set, Tsitsipas gave away the opportunity to Djokovic. Yet, Tsitsipas saw a break point when Djokovic was serving at 5-5. Djokovic held on and pressured Tsitsipas’ serve and found the victory. He will now play home favorite, Lorenzo Sonega, in the semifinals.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1226 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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