Novak Djokovic ‘super pump’ ends the year full of difficulties on the top

Novak Djokovic Astana Open

Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns the ball to Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece during their men’s singles final at the Astana Open tennis tournament in Astana on October 9, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

Novak Djokovic believes his prolonged but self-inflicted absence in 2022 makes him even more “super energetic and motivated” to end a year that began with the anomaly of evictions out of Australia.

The 35-year-old has won several titles in a row when he comfortably beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-4 in the final Astana on Sunday, a week after winning the Tel Aviv trophy.

“I could not have asked for a better restart of the season. I am as energetic and motivated to finish the season as I have been the past few weeks,” said the former world number one.

Djokovic now has four titles in just 10 events this season following victories in Rome and at Wimbledon.

His victory in the Italian capital in May earned him his 38th Masters title; his Win Wimbledon in July then equaled Pete Sampras’ record of seven at the All England Club and took him to 21 Grand Slams.

Only Rafael Nadal, at 22, has more men’s titles.

All of this in a year saw him move out of Melbourne and banned from traveling to North America due to his continued refusal to get vaccinated.

With the exception of the Laver Cup in London, which doubled when Roger Federer broke up, Djokovic hadn’t played his best for three months after Wimbledon.

His “reboot” in Israel comes 16 years after he last played in the country.

Djokovic’s determination not to waver over his vaccination stance means he’s missed two of the year’s four Slams, at the Australian and US Open, and four of eight Masters in Indian Wells, Miami, and Montreal. and Cincinnati.

However, victory in Kazakhstan on Sunday earned him a place in the ATP Finals for the 15th time – only Federer (18), Jimmy Connors and Nadal (16) have managed to reach the season finals more than once. than.

When the event takes place in Turin in November, the Serb will try to draw Federer as a six-time champion in 2008 and annually from 2012-15.

Before that, Djokovic, the only man to win all Masters titles twice, will defend his Paris Masters crown.

“I’m so grateful and lucky to be able to play this well at this stage of my life,” Djokovic said on Sunday. “You know, 35 isn’t 25.”

As his roller skating year comes to an end, Djokovic hopes he will be able to fly to Melbourne and win his 10th Australian Open title despite his visa cancellation in January, which resulted in a shooting ban. 3 years back.

Good signs.

“We are on track to win back all the top players,” Craig Tiley, Director of Tennis Australia told The Australian last week.

“We are in a different time than we were nine months ago and I think the environment has completely changed. People are moving freely around the world again and we hope to have the best players here in January.”

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