Tommy Paul believes that Novak Djokovic’s mental game is giving the Serb a huge advantage in his matches. Paul, 25, made his first Grand Slam semifinal at this year’s Australian Open. In his first Grand Slam semifinal, Paul also played against Djokovic for the first time.
Unfortunately for Paul, it didn’t go well as Djokovic defeated the American 7-5, 6-1, 6-2. «I think mentally he’s the best in the game. That’s where you see the difference in those matches at least. I think that’s where most of the difference was in that match.»
Like you say, Oh, the only difference was the mentality? Or like his mind game is any better? But, like, that’s big, you know. Like it was like 7-5, 6-1, 6-1 (6-2) or something. It was all mental, I think. I mean, it’s a pretty crazy level, definitely.
But I think he handles each situation very well, each moment in massive matches. I mean, if I want to be where I want to be, I think or know that it’s something that I’m going to have to get a lot better at, and something that I’m working on in a big way,» Paul said, according to sportskeeda.
How did Djokovic beat Paul?
Paul did not start his first Grand Slam semifinal well as Djokovic claimed two early breaks to open up a 5-1 lead. Down by a double break, Paul rallied amazingly by responding with back-to-back breaks to tie the first set at five games apiece.
But just when it looked as if Paul could pull off an impressive steal in the first set, the American broke again in game 12, the game in which he was serving to stay in the first set. After losing the first set in devastating fashion, Paul also lost the first five games of the second set as Djokovic opened up a comfortable two-set lead. In the third set, Djokovic broke Paul twice to complete a straight-set victory.