“Doesn’t Have an Unbelievable, Killer Forehand” – Alex Corretja Details What Novak Djokovic Needs to Win More Slams

Published 05/22/2021, 10:30 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 16, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his final match against Spain’s Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane


Former tennis star Alex Corretja has said that current World No.1 Novak Djokovic doesn’t need to play tournaments through the season to give himself the best chance of winning more Grand Slam titles.

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In a virtual conversation with Tennishead, the former French Open finalist said that though the Serb has reached a stage in his career where he can prioritize events without worrying about his ranking, he needs to play enough matches to go into Grand Slams in top fettle.

Taking an extended break after lifting a record ninth Australian Open title this year, Djokovic crashed out early at the Monte-Carlo Masters on his return to the Tour and followed it up with a semi-final exit at the Serbian Open, his first defeat on home soil in years.

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Coming into Rome as the defending champion after choosing not to defend his 2019 title in Madrid, the Serb set up a dream final with Rafael Nadal. However, Nadal lifted his 10th career title in the ancient city as the Serb went down in three sets.

Alex Corretja says Novak Djokovic needs to be in rhythm to win Grand Slams

As things stand, World No.1 will travel to Roland Garros without having picked up a title on the surface this season.

To a question on whether Djokovic should play more events to put himself in contention for more Grand Slam titles, Corretja said, “He doesn’t need to play all of the time but definitely he needs rhythm to get into the Slams.”

The Spaniard added that the World No.1 has a game where he wants to “put a lot of balls on the court to get the feelings that he wants.”

The former World No.2 said what works to Djokovic‘s advantage even if he arrives at a Major short of where he needs to be is that most of his rivals play similar to him “but on a different level.”

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 16, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his final match against Spain’s Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

“Most of the guys now they hit very hard with a serve, with a forehand and with a backhand, two-handed backhand. So, they face little bit like a mirror, but a better mirror (in Djokovic) than they are,” Corretja added.

Alex Corretja says Djokovic can’t win easier like some other players can

Explaining why Djokovic needs more match time under his belt before heading to a big-ticket event, the Spaniard said he is unlike “some other players” who can win titles easier and has to work his way into a tournament.

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“He doesn’t hit that many winners, Novak, because he has a very good forehand but he doesn’t have an unbelievable, killer forehand,” Corretja said.

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The former star added that though the reigning Australian Open champion more than makes up for what he lacks with a “better serve” and “good footwork”, he needs to play enough matches to get his feet moving well.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

995 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.

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