'I was surprised with the way Novak Djokovic controlled...', says former ace
There are feats that only absolute champions can perform, the real ones. Feats that can only be achieved by the hungry, those who are capable of throwing their hearts (and sometimes even a few extra organs) over the hurdle. This is the case of Rafael Nadal, capable of conquering a Grand Slam, Roland Garros, playing with a practically anesthetized foot. Or Novak Djokovic, triumphant at the 2021 Australian Open with a 1.7 cm abdominal tear. Now, however, to the two legends we must add another multiple Grand Slam champion: Ashleigh Barty. The Australian tennis player, who shocked the entire WTA circuit with her retirement from tennis at the beginning of the year at just 26 years old, told the Australian sports website Code Sports that she won Wimbledon playing the entire tournament with a 10 cm abdominal tear. The former number one, in fact, after deciding to hang up her racket, had revealed that winning the Slam had been her dream since childhood and that winning the title in 2021 had been a kind of gratification for her, a goal achieved that filled her. In an extensive account, Barty brought to light all the anecdotes related to her victory at Wimbledon, reeling off every moment, every game, every emotion of that triumphant British campaign. The former world number one, the undisputed dominator of the WTA circuit before her retirement, announced her decision to say goodbye to tennis on March 23, 2022, a few weeks after winning her home Slam, becoming the first Australian tennis player to win the Australian Open since 1978. Djokovic will be the favorite in London Speaking during a recent interview with CLAY, Davydenko said that while Novak Djokovic will be keen to win a few more Majors, opportunities will keep getting lesser as the 35-year-old Serb further progresses in his career. "Next season, I don’t know – with every year, it gets harder when you get to a certain age. I don’t think he will play until he is 40 – to win Slams at 40, best of five, there is no chance, not possible," Davydenko said. The former World No. 3 reminisced about an early encounter on the practice courts with a 17-year-old Novak Djokovic and said he saw a special spark in the Serbian right away. "We were in Rome and he was my partner for the warmup before the match. I was surprised with the way he controlled the ball – I was hitting really good balls and each one came back. He moved really well too," Davydenko said.