Former German tennis player Mischa Zverev revealed he noticed Novak Djokovic stayed in Monte Carlo after a shock early exit and hit the practice court as he was determined to fix the issues. In his first clay tournament of the year, Djokovic suffered a shock Monte Carlo second round defeat versus Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.
After losing, Djokovic stayed in Monte Carlo and hit the practice courts. A month later, Djokovic is coming off a Rome victory and is one of the top French Open favorites. Djokovic’s determination and committment to the hard work is what makes him a great champion, thinks Zverev.
“In Monte Carlo he really didn’t play well and lost early. Before the tournament he had practiced with Sascha (Alexander), he really looked slower than usual. His strokes were also not so well placed,” Eurosport Germany’s tennis podcast Das Gelbe vom Ball.
“Normally you don’t see the top players on the venue when they have lost. But he was on the grounds one or two days later – on the last court at the back – practicing there and you could see, okay, he is hungry, he really wants to improve his game.
He doesn’t care if there are other spectators, if the quarter-finals or semi-finals are on. He is not part of it. It didn’t matter to him at all. He had one goal in mind, he had to improve.”
Djokovic finds his game ahead of the French Open
Djokovic didn’t look good at all at the start of the French Open but now he looks like his usual self.
Barbara Rittner, a former German tennis player, thinks Djokovic is back and definitely capable of a strong French Open run. “He is back in shape, he has shown that impressively. But above all he is fresh. He hasn’t played as much as he has in years – and that’s how he looked last week.
Agile as ever, but just fresh in the head,” Rittner said of Djokovic. “He’s having fun and he’s feeling that recognition and appreciation again. 1000 victories is an achievement in itself. His mental strength, especially in these best-of-five matches, is already impressive, and that coupled with his current freshness due to relatively few matches makes him particularly dangerous.”