Novak Djokovic Opens Up On Motivation Crises After French Open Win - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Opens Up On Motivation Crises After French Open Win

The world No.1 reflects on one of the most challenging periods of his career.

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It has been almost five years since Novak Djokovic ended his title drought at the French Open but he admits the achievement affected him in a way he never expected.

 

In 2016 the Serbian battled to the title after defeating Andy Murray in four sets in the final. Somebody who he had a practice session with in Rome earlier this week. The achievement made Djokovic only the third man in history to hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time after Rod Laver and Ron Budge. His victory was even sweeter after losing in the French Open final in three out of four years prior to his win.

“I had plenty of motivation trying to win Roland Garros, to kind of reach that milestone of winning all four slams,” he said following his win over Taylor Fritz in Rome on Tuesday. “I came up short two, three times, losing in the finals, in some long, big, tough matches against Nadal particularly, and against Wawrinka in 2015.’
“I held all four slams, I had many finals in a row. I had definitely the best 15 months of my career. Those were the pinnacle moments in my career in terms of results, in how I felt on the court and how well I played,” he added.

After claiming a trophy which has eluded him for so long, the world no.1 admits that he found himself in a situation which he had never previously experienced. Suddenly he was facing a motivation crisis which turned out to be the biggest in his career.

“When I finally reached it, I felt a huge joy, content and relief, but at the same time also exhaustion,” he explained. “It took a lot out of me. I kind of for a year and a half had to recover in terms of emotions. I had an elbow issue and everything. I felt that I basically got back on track in 2018.”

Djokovic, who has won 18 Grand Slam titles so far in his career, is yet to win another French Open title. Although he finished runner-up last season to Nadal who has won the tournament a record 13 times. Overall, he has a win-loss record of 74-15 at the event which works out to be a 83% winning rate.

It is not the first time a player has experienced motivation issues after achieving one of their career goals. More recently Dominic Thiem admitted that he found himself in a ‘hole’ after chasing after Grand Slam glory for 15 years. The Austrian won the US Open last year by defeating Alexander Zverev in the final. Thiem has also been open about his struggles with playing on the Tour during the ongoing pandemic.

I don’t know what exactly is the case of Dominic, why he felt that way. But I can relate,” said Djokovic.
‘These kinds of circumstances that we are living right now in the world are different from back five years when I was experiencing that period or maybe the crisis of motivation a bit.’
“For me it was a completely different situation in terms of achieving everything, but then realizing that all that I have achieved professionally doesn’t necessarily guarantee me to have the time that I want with the close ones, the time for myself for some other things that I would like to enjoy in life. I had to really sacrifice everything to get to that point, and I did.”

The fire is back in Djokovic’s game as he aims to break the all-time record for most Grand Slam titles won by a male player. A milestone currently jointly held by rivals Nadal and Roger Federer.

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Daniil Medvedev Searching For Confidence Boost Ahead Of Wimbledon

The two-time Grand Slam finalist says he is not the same player as he was two years ago when he last played Wimbledon.

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When it comes to playing on the grass this year Daniil Medvedev admits that the biggest issue for him might concern the mental side of the sport as opposed to the physical side.

 

The world No.2 kicked-off his grass swing last week in Halle where he was stunned in the first round by Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting the Tour in 2020, that was the first time the Russian had played a match on the surface in almost two years. Short on matches, Medvedev is back in action this week in Mallorca after taking a wildcard into the tournament.

“I like to play on grass, I just need to get some confidence in my game on the surface, because we didn’t play [on it] for two years. Two years ago, I was not the same player as I am right now,” Medvedev told atptour.com. “It is tough for me to say where I see myself, but I know I can play very good on this surface. I just need to find the right balance.”

Since he last played at Wimbledon, Medvedev surged on the ATP Tour by winning six titles with all of them being on a hardcourt. Furthermore, he also reached the final of the US Open in 2019 and the Australian Open this year. He is the first player outside of the Big Four to be ranked in the world’s top two since July 2005.

Despite his previous success on the grass, Medvedev admits he remains wary about playing on the surface and the conditions he may face.

“When I started playing on grass, I played in Challengers and even in [ATP] Tour tournaments on the outside courts, not on the central courts, and I can tell that the central courts are quite slow,” he said. “Especially the match I played with Gilles Simon at Queen’s [Club], we had rallies of 40 shots every second point. That is what makes it a little bit tougher.
“When I practise on practice courts, I feel like I am playing so good as the ball is so fast. Then I come onto the centre court to play the match, and the ball just stops after the bounce, and you have to adapt your game, so it can be tough. But I know I can play really well on grass.”

In Mallorca Medvedev has a bye in the first round. His opening match will be against either South Africa’s Lloyd Harris or France’s Corentin Moutet.

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Unseeded Ugo Humbert Becomes First Player In Over A Decade To Win Halle On Debut

The 22-year-old fired nine aces and 29 winners to claim his first ATP 500 title.

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image via https://twitter.com/ATPHalle

France’s Ugo Humbert has clinched his maiden ATP title on the grass after defeating Andrey Rublev in straight sets at the Noventi Open in Halle.

 

Humbert remained unbroken throughout his 6-3, 7-6(4), win over the Russian fourth seed who has won more matches on the ATP Tour than any other player since the start of 2020 (74). The Frenchman was particularly impressive behind serve where he won 83% of his first service points and 55% on his second. It is the first time he has beaten Rublev on the Tour after losing to him on two previous occasions in 2019 (Monte Carlo) and 2020 (St. Petersburg).

“It’s incredible,” said Humbert. “The best victory of my career. I’m very proud because it wasn’t easy, I was a little but tired today but I tried to stay focused on each point. It’s very nice.”

The triumph concludes what has been a marathon week in Halle for the 22-year-old. En route to the final he had to come through four three-set matches where he scored wins over Sam Querrey, Alexander Zverev, Sebastian Korda and Felix-Auger Aliassime. Becoming only the second player in Halle’s 28-year history to have reached the final by playing only three-set matches.

Meanwhile, runner-up Rublev paid tribute to his opponent following their clash. The world No.7 is now 1-2 in finals played so far this season after winning Rotterdam before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas in Monte Carlo. To put that into perspective, in 2020 he won all six finals he played in.

“I have often told my coach that you play in an incredible way,” he said. “You have everything to be a very great player. So keep working, doing everything you do. You play very well, you have incredible shots. I wish you a great career.”

Humbert, who won two ATP titles last year in Auckland and Antwerp, is the first player to win Halle on the debut since 2010. On that occasion Lleyton Hewitt prevailed over Roger Federer in the final. He is now projected to rise to a ranking high of 25 on Monday when the ATP standings are officially updated.

The Frenchman will be hoping that he can continue his winning streak heading to Wimbledon where he reached the fourth round back in 2019. His best ever result in a Grand Slam to date.

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David Goffin Out Of Wimbledon Following Halle Accident

It has been reported that the unfortunate injury he suffered is ‘more serious’ than a sprain.

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David Goffin has been forced to withdraw from Wimbledon after suffering an ankle injury during the Noventi Open earlier this week.

 

The former top 10 player was taking on Corentin Moutet in Halle where he slipped on the grass and subsequently hurt his right ankle. Forcing the Belgian to retire from the match at the start of the third set. Providing an update on Goffin’s health, agent Martin Roux said he is unsure how long he will be absent from the Tour for.

“Yes, David has officially withdrawn from Wimbledon following his ankle injury in Halle. For the moment we do not know more about the exact duration of unavailability, ” Roux told lesoir.be. “He is of course disappointed to miss a Grand Slam tournament, especially since he had recovered well on grass before his injury. “

https://twitter.com/tennis_gifs/status/1404375935625875457

Elaborating further, Roux confirmed Goffin’s injury is ‘more serious’ than a sprain and tests are ongoing to assess the extent of the damage which has been caused to the ankle. It is not the first time he has suffered a freak accident on the court. During the 2018 Rotterdam Open he hurt his eye after a tennis ball rebounded into his face, forcing him to pull out of Marseille and Indian Wells that year.

“David told me that it was more serious than a minor sprain, after exams in Belgium.”Roux added. “The ankle has not yet deflated (stopped swelling). David realizes that ice and bandages won’t be enough to play. The ligaments must be affected in one way or another. The idea is to do new exams at the end of the week in order to then have a healing protocol, especially since after Wimbledon the Olympic Games will arrive quickly. These are now his next goals. “

The 30-year-old has achieved a win-loss record of 14-13 so far in 2021 and won his fifth ATP title in Montpellier. He has also reached the semi-finals in Antalya and quarter-finals in Monte Carlo. However, recently Goffin has struggled on the Tour with Halle being the fifth tournament in a row where he has failed to win back-to-back matches.

Goffin is currently ranked 13th in the world.

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