Novak Djokovic: Following 21st grand slam title at Wimbledon, what’s next?


The Serbian received his twenty first grand slam title on Sunday, beating Nick Kyrgios within the ultimate to win yet one more Wimbledon trophy, the seventh time he is finished so and his fourth at SW19 in a row.

Nevertheless, because it stands, Djokovic’s fast future stays unclear. On account of his anti-Covid-19 vaccination stance, his present participation in upcoming grand slams within the US and in Australia has been thrown into query.

‘I simply wanted time to climate the storm’

Djokovic has endured a rocky couple of months off the court docket and that seeped into his play on it.

In January, Djokovic was ultimately deported from Australia following a protracted saga, together with time in detention, stopping his participation within the Australian Open because of his refusal to get vaccinated for Covid-19.

Beneath Australian regulation, Djokovic might be banned from the nation for 3 years because of the circumstances surrounding his deportation, although Residence Affairs Minister Karen Andrews did not rule out an exemption. “Any software might be reviewed on its deserves,” she said in January.

Though he has returned to motion slowly however certainly, the previous world No. 1 stated that he needed to “climate a storm” throughout that point.

“The primary months of this yr affected me,” he stated after his Wimbledon victory. “Mentally and emotionally, I used to be not in a great place. I felt a lot strain.

“That triggered turbulence inside me. I simply wanted time to climate the storm. At one level, I noticed it is simply going to take time, and that is it, time for me to regroup, to get into optimum balanced state on the court docket, off the court docket.”

Goran Ivanisevic, Djokovic’s coach and 2001 Wimbledon winner, praised the 21-time grand slam winner’s capacity to return from a “robust yr.”

“This was an enormous factor what occurred to him. All of us anticipated from him after couple of weeks, ‘Okay, neglect about Australia, let’s return and follow. It is not taking place like this,'” Ivanisevic stated.

“It took a very long time, Monte-Carlo, Belgrade, then he began to play higher, Madrid, Rome. Even he performed effectively in Paris, however Rafa (Nadal) was higher participant that night time.

“For some individuals, they do not recuperate. They’ll by no means play tennis. This was an enormous shock. Was shock for me, and I used to be there. I used to be free. Think about for him.

“Unbelievable how he recuperate and the way he acquired by means of that. It is actually for me heroic as a result of it was not straightforward to digest all of the factor and are available again to play tennis. You then’re considering: ‘Why (do) you need to play tennis?'”

Djokovic and Kyrgios shake hands after the Wimbledon men's singles final.

Regardless of his return to motion in chosen tournaments, his Covid-19 vaccination stance has restricted his participation in others.

He has missed tournaments within the US all through this yr, comparable to Indian Wells or the Miami Open, as a result of any non-US citizen have to be absolutely vaccinated in opposition to Covid-19 as a way to obtain a visa and enter the nation.

And, because it stands, he wouldn’t be permitted to play within the US Open — which is ready to start on August 29 — as he has not been vaccinated.

Djokovic did not sound notably optimistic about competing at Flushing Meadows given the present state of affairs — though he did say he would “actually love” to play there.

“I am not vaccinated and I am not planning to get vaccinated, so the one excellent news I can have is them eradicating the mandated inexperienced vaccine card or no matter you name it to enter United States or exemption,” he stated.

“I do not assume exemption is realistically attainable. If that’s risk, I do not know what exemption can be about. I do not know. I haven’t got a lot solutions there. I feel it is simply whether or not or not they take away this in time for me to get to USA.”

In reality, because of present Australian immigration legal guidelines, the 35-year-old would not be permitted to play within the 2023 Australian Open both.

That might imply that Djokovic — one of many best to ever grace the game of tennis — would subsequent take to the court docket in a grand slam in Might 2023 at subsequent yr’s French Open.

He stays one grand slam title behind the all-time document of 21 by Nadal and, giving some perception into what he sees in his future, prioritizing the largest occasions might be his major focus.

“To be sincere, I doubt that I will go and chase factors,” he defined. “As I perceive from my agent at the moment, successful grand slam would qualify you for World Tour Finals until you are out of high 20, which I do not know. With gathered factors to this point, I assume I will make high 20.

“I assume I’ve a great probability to be already within the Finals. I cannot burden myself to actually need to go and play tournaments and get factors.

“I do not actually really feel any strain or necessity to play a sure schedule. And issues have modified within the final yr, yr and a half for me. I achieved that historic No. 1, weeks for No. 1, that I labored for all my life. Now that that is finished and dusted, I prioritize slams and massive tournaments actually and the place I need to play, the place I really feel good.

He added: “Could possibly be Laver Cup, Davis Cup is coming as effectively. I really like taking part in for my nation. Going to attempt to be a part of that. Subsequent factor you realize, the season is over, proper? These are the large, to illustrate, tournaments that I’ve proper now in my thoughts.”

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