Djokovic and the game of his life

Javier Ansorena

Updated:12/09/2021 00:17h


After a lifetime of galloping chasing eternity, Novak Djokovic has today in New York the match of his life, so momentous that it can mark tennis history forever. It’s the final of the US Open and opposite is Daniil Medvedev (22 hours, Eurosport), which is no small thing, but the Serbian has plenty of incentives, although that excess pressure can be a burden. In any case, here is one of the most privileged minds that sport has given and who can become, at 21, the tennis player with the most Grand Slams of all time, beating two beasts like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Djokovic has it within range.

“I will treat the next game as if it were the last of my career,” he said. Djokovic after beating Alexander Zverev (4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 4-6 and 6-2) in a very complicated semifinal, a battle of five sets with exchanges of up to 53 strokes. «I am going to put my heart, my soul, my body and my head. These are the moments for which we live, the kind of unique opportunities that we dream about every day, ”he pointed out, the only one of the three colossi who has always admitted, openly, that he struggles to destroy statistics and accumulate more records than anyone. . “Everything is worth it when you play in this incredible stadium and with this atmosphere,” he added about the New York center, the loudest on the circuit and with whom he has had his pluses and minuses. That, the love of the people, is not achieved with titles and Djokovic has always generated less sympathy than Federer or Nadal, a cross that affects you more than you can imagine.

In this portentous 2021, Djokovic has been full of triumphs in the greats, champion in Australia, in Paris and in London. He landed in New York with the open wound of the Games, a blow from which he was slow to recover, but the hunger to be unique has led him to a new final in Flushing Meadows. “The three triumphs that I have achieved in Australia, France and Wimbledon are already part of history, now there is the one that can make the whole year special, unique and historic. My mentality will be none other than to go out to win and do my best tennis, “says the Balkan, just one triumph away from becoming the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to complete a Grand Slam by winning all four major trophies in a single season. “What Nole does for this sport is great. Nobody thought that what Rod Laver achieved many years ago would be repeated, “he admitted. Zverev after defeat. “If you look at his stats and his style of play, he’s the best player of all time. There’s no one like him. He has been the tennis player with the most weeks as number one in the world, has won all the 1,000 Masters on more than one occasion and will probably end up as the player with the most Grand Slams. How do you compete that? », Settled the German.

Will try, that’s for sure Daniil Medvedev, confirmed as the best of mortals (he knocked down Felix Auger-Aliassime in the semifinals) and before a new opportunity in a Grand Slam, his third final. «I know that he would enter the history of this sport, but I don’t care much about that, I think that factor could generate more pressure on him, On the other hand, Novak usually grows the greater the challenge, so it can be a double weapon edge. I can only assure you that I will give it my all, “says the Russian, probably the most regular tennis player throughout the tournament despite not generating the same media attraction. It is the last hurdle for Djokovic, who plays the game of his life in the Arthur Ashe.

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