“He’s definitely my number one, I have always admired him” – Serbian footballer Dusan Vlahovic on compatriot Novak Djokovic

With his rigorous journey and explicit mental strength, 20-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic has swept millions of fans, as well as athletes, off their feet in the last decade and a half. The latest name to join the list of 36-year-old’s admirers is Serbian footballer Dusan Vlahovic.



During an interview with The Telegraph, the Juventus striker was asked whether he drew inspiration from players from other sports.



Vlahovic was quick to name Michael Jordan for his mentality and fellow countryman Novak Djokovic for his way of dealing with problems and coming out on top.




“Michael Jordan, I like his mentality. And Novak Djokovic. He’s from Serbia and he’s definitely number one so I have always admired him. He’s a great champion.



I want to find out more about how he has done certain things. He is so good for mental strength: how he deals with certain problems and how he can play seven matches in a row and overcome seven obstacles to win a Grand Slam,” Vlahovic said.




Djokovic won his first-ever Major title at the 2008 Australian Open. At the time, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal had 12 and three Grand Slams, respectively.



The 2011 season witnessed the Serb step up his game to a whole new level as he started winning more and more titles. His 2021 Wimbledon triumph brought him level with Federer and Nadal as all three players were tied for 20 Major titles.



In 2022, Nadal moved ahead in the race by winning the Australian Open and Roland Garros.




Having won the previous three editions of Wimbledon, World No. 3 Novak Djokovic is the favorite to win the tournament this year as well.



It is also extremely important for him to win the third slam of the year after not being able to play in Australia due to his vaccination status.



After winning the Italian Open, the Serb was the clear favorite to win the 2022 French Open. However, he lost to Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals.




By winning the grass-court Major, Djokovic will be looking to inch closer to his arch rival Nadal, who has 22 Grand Slams at the moment. The Serb is also likely to miss the last Major of the year as the US is sticking to its rule of allowing only vaccinated travelers into the country.




Although international travelers will not be required to present a negative COVID-19 certificate to enter the States, they will have to submit a full-vaccination status.



For the first time since September 2018, Djokovic will find himself outside of the top-five ATP rankings. After the ATP’s decision not to involve the ranking points at Wimbledon, the defending champion will drop to No. 7 after the tournament, even if he emerges victorious.




Wimbledon had earlier announced that no Russian or Belarusian players will be allowed in this year’s edition due to the Ukraine invasion.

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