A fired up Novak Djokovic has a point to prove at the Australian Open #sports


The sporting world has had to rally through so many difficult moments which has found athletes in the scary unfamiliar territory since the pandemic hit.

No more so than what 21-time grand slam champion Novak Djokovic had to endure last summer down under.

Many have never been a fan of the Serbian star due to how he conducts himself with his baggage of ‘arrogance’ at times compared to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Fury raged deeper with the public whenDjokovic was seen irresponsibly partying after organising a European tennis tournament with no social distancing, ultimately spreading the coronavirus when it was at its peak in June 2020.

So when he travelled to Melbourne last year for the Australian Open after originally being given the all-clear to compete by the Australian government, there was little sympathy from most people when he was later denied entry and deported.

It was a humiliating and challenging chapter forDjokovic, his coaching staff, and his family.

Novak Djokovic practices at Melbourne Park

(Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

As the court process dragged on and the attention grew more on the 35-year-old instead of the actual tennis, it must have been a torturous experience to have to mentally deal with. 

There is no question that the saga was handled poorly and that it ruined Djokovic’s reputation, at least slightly.

This is not the first time that he has been forced to overcome adversity. In 1999, Djokovic was sheltered as a young boy from the war-torn area of Belgrade which was bombed by Nato. 

Never underestimate his fight and resilience. 

This time around, he has landed in Australia without any problems and is currently competing in Adelaide where he comfortably won his opening round match 6-3 6-2 against Frenchman Constant Lestienne.

Djokovic has arrived here with a chip on his shoulder and is eagerly eyeing another Australian Open title. As if he needed extra motivation, he is on a mission to hunt down Nadal’s grand slam record of 22 majors.

Let’s not forget that Australia is his second home with a record nine grand slam titles at Melbourne Park to his name. He will be fired up and ready to show everyone that he belonged in the tournament last year.

After his first-round victory in Adelaide, Djokovic spoke in his on-court interview about what Australia means to him.

“Over the years Australia has been a place where I play my best tennis without a doubt and I always look forward to coming here again,” he said.

Love him or hate him, Novak offers something completely different to a grand slam environment where you want to see the best in the world producing quality tennis and creating history-making moments. 

Considering the backlash he received for flying over to Australia without a vaccine exemption, there will be quite a few boos and jeers from a feisty Australian crowd that always loves to pick on a villain. 

This won’t deter the Serb one bit. For his whole career, he has used that negative energy from the crowd and turned it into positive fuel to help push him to new heights.

Of course, there will be those who will be supporting him with their Serbian flags and chants, which the world number one will also welcome.

You also have to factor in the competitors around Djokovic who are capable of offering him a real test.

For the current time being, only Daniil Medvedev seems the likeliest of contenders to knock him off his perch. Medvedev’s commanding straight sets win againstDjokovic a few years back at the US Open final will always give him the confidence of replicating that feat.

Reigning Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal has not looked his usual self in the past week of the United Cup with age and injuries slowly creeping up on the 36-year-old.

His Spanish compatriot, Carlos Alcaraz, is just returning from his injury battle but it could take some time before the teenage prodigy builds up some form and momentum.

Alex Zverev? Stefanos Tsitsipas? Andrey Rublev? Casper Ruud? Sure, they are worthy challengers, but they are missing that special ingredient of consistency to truly be a threat. Medvedev has come to grips with this.

Djokovic’s form of his own is jaw-dropping. 

Since Wimbledon, he has reached all five finals and won four of them. That has resulted in 25 wins in his last 26 outings. 

Despite a hiccup 12 months ago, everything looks to be falling into place for Djokovic to win another piece of historic silverware.

The way he was treated by the Australian government will only fuel his desire for success further. 

Make no mistake, he is well rested and fully recharged both physically and emotionally to win a 10th Australian Open crown.

One thing is for sure. It will be one scary Novak Djokovic that no opponent will want to face on the other side of the net.

#fired #Novak #Djokovic #point #prove #Australian #Open