Novak Djokovic recently landed in Australia, almost a year after the bad soap opera that led to his expulsion from the country. The Serbian phenomenon paid dearly for his decision not to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus, having had to give up two Grand Slams (Australian Open and US Open) and all the American Masters 1000.
It took longer than expected to review the best version of Nole, who failed to make it past the quarterfinals at Roland Garros. The former World No. 1 capped off his season by winning his seventh Wimbledon title, matching his idol Pete Sampras.
The 35-year-old from Belgrade thus rose to 21 Grand Slams, just one length behind Rafael Nadal in the all-time rankings. The ‘Djoker’ will try to engage already in the 2023 Australian Open, which will begin on January 16 at Melbourne Park.
His return to Australia was very well received by former AO manager Paul McNamee.
McNamee defends Nole Djokovic
«It’s good to see Novak Djokovic back on the court in Australia. After all, he finished 2022 as the best player on the planet, arguably the most complete athlete in the world, and as a person with a holistic approach and generosity of spirit that is often overlooked.
Welcome back Novak,» Paul McNamee wrote on his social media. «Hope he can make it. For me, he is a person of principles. Not everyone agrees with where he stands, but he stands by his word and he missed two Grand Slams this year.
That’s a lot to miss when you’re winning the most Grand Slams, so I respect that and hope it’s well received,» he said. “I think winning 10 has a special ring to it. The only other man to have won 10 [at a Grand Slam event] It’s Rafa in France, so I think he’s going to put a lot of effort into getting a 10th Australian Open, especially after last year,» McNamee said.
Daniil Medvedev could face 21-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic before the 2023 Australian Open: «I don’t know. I like playing Novak because yeah, I feel like we have a lot of matches. We had some really good ones.» matches with a high level of tennis.
At the same time, what motivates me is to be in the semi-finals, and if Novak is there, it’s great. If it’s someone else who beats him, I don’t care much; that’s great too. It means someone is in great shape and probably managed to beat the best player in the world right now,» the Russian said.