World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has the world at his feet currently as he clinched his ninth Australian Open title and 18th Grand Slam in his career. He defeated Russia’s Daniil Medvedev 7-5,6-2,62 in the finals to achieve the massive feat.
However little did people know that the Serb was under a lot of pressure ahead of the Australian Open. Djokovic had to deal with a lot of criticism in the US Open last year when he struck a lineswoman with a ball accidentally and which eventually led to his disqualification from the tournament.
It was a fourth-round match where the 18-time Grand Slam winner played against Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta and then the incident happened. Although Djokovic apologised for his actions he was not allowed to continue at the Flushing Meadows last year.
The incident led to a lot of debate with tennis fans taking their sides and there was a lot of criticism that came the World No.1’s way. The 33-year old was mentally drained after that incident as he admitted that it affected his rhythm in the upcoming tournaments. However, he also revealed how he looked at the incident from a different point of view.
“The disqualification in the US Open affected me. I was on a good run and feeling great. There were ups and downs at the end of the season. It was strange with a kind of lack of motivation,” the 33-year reminisced after his Australian Open triumph.
Djokovic was the favourite to win the Australian Open right from the start and though he dropped a few sets here and there he was mostly in control. Even in the finals, he showed his mental strength and tenacity to win it in straight sets.
There was also news of his muscle tear which he felt during his third-round match against Taylor Fritz. He eventually won that match in five sets and then went on to clinch the title. He showed great determination and grit to continue despite retirement rumours.
Djokovic has taken a positive lesson from the US Open disqualification last year and he has channelled that energy positively into winning more titles. That will to perform and hunger to win was evident in the Australian Open this year as he created history by winning his ninth title.