Tennis
Laver hails Djokovic's resilience
TENNIS

Laver hails Djokovic's resilience

TENNIS
TABODDS
Speaking to Omnisport, Rod Laver has praised Novak Djokovic for staying true to his style of play, despite a disappointing end to 2016.
TENNIS
TABODDS

Novak Djokovic's mental strength makes him stand out from most of his rivals on the ATP Tour, according to 11-time grand slam singles champion Rod Laver.

Djokovic endured a difficult end to 2016 as his form dipped for the first time in many years, the Serbian eventually losing the world number one spot to Andy Murray.

After winning the French Open to complete a career grand slam in June, the 29-year-old was dumped out of Wimbledon in third round and was a first-round casualty at Rio 2016.

He recovered his form to reach the final of the US Open but was beaten by Stan Wawrinka, and he could not win the ATP World Tour Finals either as Murray got the better of his rival in London.

While those setbacks could affect some players, Laver believes Djokovic will go into the Australian Open confident in his own game, something which makes him unique.

"He plays so well ... he's so consistent with his game," Laver told Omnisport.

"His groundstrokes, he out-rallies all of the players. If he needs to play a match and just keep the match in play, he can pull it off and he's prepared to put the time in to win the match. 

"A lot of players say I'm gonna change, I'm gonna serve and volley and get a shorter match. He stays with his own game and that's probably his asset."

Djokovic could win a seventh Australian Open title in Melbourne this month, something Laver admits he did not expect to be possible when he first saw the Serbian in action.


He added: "[It is a] huge situation to be able to [win seven], I think I saw his first match which he won and he was battling to play.

"I don't know if it was even five sets but he was having trouble with his lungs, his fitness and he realised I've got to do something about this so he went on a gluten-free diet, he went on a fitness programme, a stretching programme and here he is.

"He started off barely winning the first Australian and now he's been winning them pretty comfortably and playing the best players in the world."

Share this article

Features

Latest stories

basketball

Raptors All-Star Kyle Lowry to have wrist surgery, putting season in jeopardy

Rangers' Josh Hamilton has another knee surgery, will miss opening day

NFL Combine participants have chance to win an island

Cardinals use franchise tag on Jones

EPL

Srivaddhanaprabha: Leicester players not behind Ranieri sacking

MLB trying to create 'tacky' baseballs to reduce cheating, report says

football

Juventus without trio for Napoli semi-final

football

AFC Champions League Review: Lokomotiv score after 19 seconds, Lekhwiya grab draw

motorsport

Hamilton quickest on day one of F1 testing

Former Bears coach Marc Trestman back in CFL, report says

basketball

Nike, FIBA sign 11-year partnership aimed at growing basketball internationally

HOF GM Bill Polian says Terrell Owens didn't make teams better

MoreLess
Back to Top