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Australian Open: “Like Real”: Tennis star Djokovic still hungry for a title

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After the Australian Open victory, Novak Djokovic is aiming for records for eternity. He sends a declaration of war to his rivals Nadal and Alcaraz. But his start at the US tournaments is in jeopardy.

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For his coach, he is tennis’ Real Madrid personified and, like the Spanish football club, Novak Djokovic’s hunger for the title is insatiable.

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“Winning as many slams as possible is the biggest motivation to keep playing,” said the Serb after his 22nd major triumph at the Australian Open on Sunday: “I have no intention of stopping here. I feel with my tennis great, physically good and mentally strong. I have a chance to win against any opponent in every Grand Slam.”

That should have been a challenge to Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz, who have high hopes for the title at the French Open in four months on sand. Djokovic had beaten both Spaniards in Melbourne without having competed against them: the 35-year-old replaced Alcaraz, who was absent due to injury, as number one in the world, and he drew level with Nadal, who was injured in the second round, after Grand Slam triumphs.

While Alcaraz congratulated Stefanos Tsitsipas on the “very well deserved” success immediately after Djokovic’s final victory against the Greek, Nadal initially did not comment on social media. The Swiss Roger Federer, who resigned last year, expressed his admiration for the “incredible effort”. When it comes to the hotly debated question among fans about the best tennis player in history, more and more speaks for Djokovic. He doesn’t like to compare himself to others, but being part of this discussion “flatters me”.

The coach raves

For his coach Goran Ivanišević there is no doubt that Djokovic has overtaken all other stars. 97 percent of the players would have “withdrawn” from a thigh injury like the one his protégé took to the Australian Open, said the former tennis pro: “But not him, he’s from a different species.” Coaching Djokovic is “training like Real Madrid”, the Croat compared, “There is always pressure. Only titles count, only records count”.

Djokovic made his peace with Australia, which had expelled him from the country last year because of an invalidated exemption. But his refusal to vaccinate could now cost him the start at the ATP tournaments in March in Indian Wells and Miami. In the USA, full corona vaccination is still an entry requirement. For Indian Wells tournament director Tommy Haas, it would be “a shame” if Djokovic couldn’t start because of that. The German ex-professional hopes for an exemption.

International press comments on Djokovic’s success

Spain:

“As”: “There was no better rematch than winning the Australian Open again, his fetish tournament, before the applause of the same citizens who disapproved of his behavior a year ago.”

“Marca”: “Everything has changed for Novak Djokovic in 378 days. After being expelled in Melbourne a year ago, he has now lifted the Norman Brookes Trophy for the tenth time in his career, which made him the Confirmed as champion of the Australian Open for the tenth time.”

“El País”: “Djokovic redeems himself in his paradise and draws level with Nadal’s 22 Grand Slam victories. The Serb rounds off an impeccable tournament against Tsitsipas and creates his tenth title in Melbourne, which also makes him number one again on the racetrack.”

Great Britain:

“Daily Mail”: “From deported to dominant. An emotional Novak Djokovic equals Rafael Nadal’s record of 22 Grand Slam wins by winning his tenth Australian Open crown.”

“The Sun”: “The guy who was rudely thrown out of Melbourne by customs officials without ever touching a ball will this time leave the country a celebrated hero and not an outlaw.”

“The Guardian”: “A crying Novak Djokovic celebrates the “biggest win” of his life at the Australian Open.”

Italy:

“La Gazzetta dello Sport”: “Djokovic, tears and rebirth. That’s how a circle has closed in Melbourne.”

“Corriere dello Sport”: “Novak Djokovic is writing tennis history again. The Serb dominates in the final against Stefanos Tsitsipas and wins the Australian Open again.”

France:

“L’Équipe”: “Here’s Novak Djokovic again on the roof of the world. With a total of 22 trophies, he joins Rafael Nadal on the summit of the Grand Slam.”

Austria:

“Kronen Zeitung”: “Novak Djokovic is crowned King of Australia.”

Switzerland:

“Blick”: “A year ago, Novak Djokovic was excluded from the Australian Open with shame and disgrace. Now the Serb crowned his return with his tenth title in Melbourne. A great satisfaction for the “Djoker”.”

Source: Stern

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