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‘It hurts. I’m a human being’: Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic responds to criticism

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novak djokovic

Hitting back at his detractors and slamming the doubters, Novak Djokovic says his ninth Australian Open triumph was among the most challenging of his grand slam career.

 

 

Djokovic thumped Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 in Sunday night’s final before taking aim at his critics. The Serb was savaged pre-tournament for detailing a list of so-called quarantine demands for the 72 players holed up in hard lockdown, then accused of exaggerating an abdominal injury during his five-set third-round win over Taylor Fritz.

While admitting that the criticism had hurt him, Djokovic explained how he had developed a thick skin to block it out.

“Emotionally [this] was one of hardest tournaments I had, to be honest, with quarantine and a lot of things happening in the media,” the world No 1 told Nine.

Novak Djokovic

“The letter that I wrote, ideas and recommendations that I got from players was misinterpreted as my request and list of demands. Then the next thing you know within a couple of days I’m persona non grata in this country.

“I got injured in the third round. It was a rollercoaster ride if I can define it in one word. I think it makes it even sweeter for me.”

Of the criticism, he said: “It seems unfair from some people that criticise and judge without really checking before. But as I said, it’s not really the first time. It happened so many times in my life, in my career. It will probably not be the last one.

“Of course, it hurts. I’m a human being like anybody else. I have emotions. I don’t enjoy when somebody attacks me in the media openly and stuff. I cannot say I don’t care about it. Of course, it does, I have to be honest.

“I didn’t allow it to hinder my performance. I think winning the trophy is in a way my answer. I think I’ve developed a thick skin over the years to just dodge those things and focus on what matters to me the most.”

Djokovic maintained he tore a stomach muscle against Fritz, and that the injury still had not fully healed.

“Once the tournament is done, I can say it’s a muscle tear. It was a muscle tear at that point,” the Serb said. “I don’t think I’ve experienced that kind of a snap that I have in the third round. I went to MRI. MRI has shown a tear. People questioned that.”

In a bizarre conclusion to the tournament, the crowd inside Rod Laver Arena booed Tennis Australia’s president after she mentioned the Covid vaccine rollout and the Victorian government.

Djokovic had just wrapped up his 18th grand slam title when Jayne Hrdlicka took to the stage during the presentation ceremony, only for a section of the crowd to heckle her as she spoke.

“With vaccinations on the way, rolling out in many countries around the world, it’s now a time for optimism and hope for the future,” Hrdlicka said, before having to pause as jeers rang out in the stands.

Hrdlicka thanked the Victorian government for its work in making the tournament happen, despite the global pandemic and said: “Without you we could not have done this.”

The crowd booed once again before Hrdlicka finished her speech by saying: “You are a very opinionated group of people.”

Djokovic, whose stance on vaccinations has drawn criticism in the past, said the fortnight in Melbourne had been a success, despite the many challenges faced by tournament organisers.

“There are a lot of mixed feelings about what has happened in the last month or so, with tennis players coming to Australia,” Djokovic said after his win.

“But I think when we draw a line in the end it was a successful tournament for organisers … it wasn’t easy, it was very challenging on many different levels, but they should be proud.”

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Rafael Nadal’s message to Tiger Woods after car accident

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In the past few hours, the entire world of sport has come to know with surprise and apprehension of the car accident involving the American Tiger Woods, star of world of golf. The American, born in 1975, boasts a truly formidable palmarès: world number one for a total of 683 weeks, he won 15 Majors trophies between 1997 and 2019.

Woods’ official Twitter account made it known on social media: “We thank everyone for the enormous support and messages received in this difficult period. As previously reported, Tiger was involved in a car accident with his car in California this morning.

He underwent a long surgery on his right leg and side after being transported to the hospital.”

Rafael Nadal’s message to Tiger Woods
Further below we read: “At the moment he is awake, responsive and recovering in his hospital room.

We thank the wonderful doctors and staff of Harbor UCLA Medical Center, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Fire Department. Your support and your help has been incredible.” Taking up these words, ATP number 2 Rafael Nadal wrote: “When I heard about the news, I was really worried.

I am happy to know that you are fine. Get back to health soon, my friend!”

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‘Without Roger Federer’s patience…’, says famous trainer

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After more than a year of inactivity, Roger Federer will return to play a tournament on 8 March in Doha. The Swiss maestro last played an official match at the 2020 Australian Open, when he was defeated in three sets with Novak Djokovic (later winner of the tournament).

Many questions that arise spontaneously to millions of fans around the world, above all “Will he be able to get back competitive?” His former coach, Heinz Gunthardt, told him about the matter. “It will be one of the greatest challenges ever seen in the world of sport.

There is no doubt. A couple of things have to be fine. He has to move well, he has to build a little confidence with the pitch and with the game, as well as with his body. Playing at a high level right away? Possible, but the first thing to do will be to serve well.

Of course, though, he won’t be used to the game, but that’s not the biggest problem. The focus will be on how well he can move. Why not, he could even win Wimbledon maybe. Why don’t fans have to be optimistic about his return? There is much more to be curious than pessimistic about his condition.”

While speaking with Rene Stauffer, Pierre Paganini made a startling revelation, explaining how Federer’s body has suffered significant degradation during this period – which is in sharp contrast to its condition during his 2016 injury hiatus.

Paganini talks about Roger Federer

“Without Roger Federer’s patience, the guillotine would have fallen long ago,” Pierre Paganini stated. “He depends on it (passion), and so do we! When a player who’s almost 40 has to do exercises that a 70-year-old can do without any problems, and is happy that it gets better every day – if that’s not passion (then what is).”

Paganini further revealed that Roger Federer’s participation at the Dubai Open is not yet a guarantee, as was previously believed to be. “At the moment it is only clear that he is playing Doha, then we’ll see,” Paganini revealed.

Federer is the most successful player at the Doha Open, winning the tournament previously on three occasions in 2005, 2006, and 2011. The event is played on hard courts in an outdoor environment. The tournament will be played from the 8th of march and will end on the 13th of the month. The ATP Dubai 500 will begin on the 14th of March and will end on the 20th of March.

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Novak Djokovic: ‘I once showed my son Stefan who Rafael Nadal is’

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Novak Djokovic attended an event held by his endorsement Asics, shoe producer, on Saturday in Shanghai, China, and the interviewers showed him a photo featuring him and his son Stefan staying on a bench together looking at something on the Wimbledon practice courts.

That was actually a very funny moment. ‘I was showing him (Rafael) Nadal, who was playing two courts away because he doesn’t know anybody from tennis but he knows Nadal because I explained him, This is the guy who hits the ball very very hard.

When he sees him, he says, Oh, you are the guy who hits the ball very very hard’, said Djokovic. Talking on his comeback, the 31-year-old added: ‘I worked very hard to be able to regain confidence on the court after that I had surgery in February.

It took me several months to be able to get my game together. I have made some compensations with my game especially with my serve, I made certain changes with the racket so it took a little bit of time to get used to the new racket and serve and not to have the elbow disturbing me.

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