NOVAK DJOKOVIC BENDS BUT NEVER BREAKS: “IT’S A MESSAGE FOR THE COMPETITION”
NOVAK DJOKOVIC BENDS BUT NEVER BREAKS
Novak Djokovic did not have fun on the night from Friday to Saturday but he ended up bringing his compatriot Laslo Djere to his senses (4-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, 6-3) to rally the second week.
As is often the case, he showed his incomparable mastery of the long format and his incredible ability to raise the tone. Proud of his reaction, he even sees this ordeal as a bonus for the future.
He did it again. It has even almost become a small habit. As against Lorenzo Musetti and Stefanos Tsitsipas at Roland-Garros in 2021, as against Jannik Sinner at Wimbledon last year, Novak Djokovic came back from a handicap of two sets to win in five (4-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, 6-3) in the 3rd round of the US Open against his Serbian compatriot Laslo Djere on the night of Friday to Saturday.
It is also the eighth time in his career that he has achieved such a performance, half of his comebacks having taken place in the last two years.
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Time therefore does not seem to have any influence on him. So much so that when he broke his opponent early in the third set for the first time with his back against the wall, the general impression was that the match had just started for him.
From the outside, the outcome seemed inevitable despite the score. “I’m not sure I have a mental advantage in two sets to nothing against me, nuanced the world number 2 passing through the mixed zone after his victory. Maybe when I won the third, I felt like I was back in the game. I got it in a way, so to speak.”
📊 Pour la 8ème fois de sa carrière, Novak Djokovic a remporté un match après avoir concédé les deux premiers sets :
▪️ Wim 2005 vs Garcia Lopez
▪️ US 2011 vs Federer
▪️ RG 2012 vs Seppi
▪️ Wim 2015 vs Anderson
▪️ RG 2021 vs Musetti
▪️ RG 2021 vs Tsitsipas
▪️ Wim 2022 vs Sinner… pic.twitter.com/Kb6x3I9vtm
— Jeu, Set et Maths (@JeuSetMaths) September 2, 2023
This change of gear between the first two rounds and the last three is all the more impressive as Djokovic did not take advantage of his opponent’s drop in speed, even if fatigue was obviously felt.
His psychological influence over his compatriots is certainly usually clear – a bit like a Roger Federer when he played a Swiss or a Rafael Nadal when he played a Spaniard – but this time, Djere did not not impressed.
In his bubble at the start of the match, he continued to hold his own in the exchange with his illustrious elder, who was forced to considerably raise his level.