Despite his win at Wimbledon, 2022 was not an easy year for Novak Djokovic. The former number 1 in the world paid dearly for his decision not to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus, as expected. The Serbian phenomenon had to give up the Australian Open and the US Open, two events in which he would have been the big favorite for the final victory.
For the same reason, the 35-year-old Belgian also missed all the American Masters 1000 (Indian Wells, Miami, Montreal and Cincinnati). After the disappointment he suffered at Roland Garros, Nole redeemed himself at Wimbledon by matching Pete Sampras’ seven wins.
By beating Nick Kyrgios in the final, the ‘Djoker’ won his 21st Grand Slam and closed the distance that separates him from Rafael Nadal in the historical classification. Indeed, the Spaniard was unable to extend himself at the US Open, stopping as early as the second round against a wild Frances Tiafoe.
Interviewed by the portal ‘Tennis Majors’, the well-known journalist Ben Rothenberg assured that it will not be so easy for Djokovic to return to the highest levels in 2023.
Nole missed two Slams in 2022
«If that was the case, at this point, I would actually pick Carlos Alcaraz over Novak Djokovic, I think, because I just don’t think Djokovic has the match preparation,» Ben Rothenberg stated during the Match Point at Tennis Majors podcast. .
«I saw how slow he was to come back in the clay court season this year when he didn’t play against Indian Wells and Miami,» Rothenberg said. «He got off to a very slow start on clay and we’ll see. I think he’ll play some European tournaments this fall.»
I imagine he’ll get some matches. But in this imaginary scenario, where it’s like the next big tournament, I don’t think I have that time to get my confidence back.» On the same Match Point podcast, Rothenberg questioned whether Nole Djokovic would have the «same feeling» when he returns to Melbourne, considering what happened last time.
«Also, he’s currently not allowed to enter Australia legally, for sure we’ll see if he gets there first. It doesn’t really matter, it’s a hypothetical question,» Rothenberg said. «I don’t know if he’ll still have the same feeling when he comes back after everything that’s happened this year, it might be a different mental vibe for him in Melbourne, in the future.»