The Serbian player closed his eyes for a moment as Novak Djokovic walked from the locker room to the Center Court at Pala Alpitour on Saturday. The five-time Nitto ATP Finals winner was in the region. In his champion zone.
The 35-year-old found this area of focus when he needed it most, against Taylor Fritz, whom he defeated in two tiebreaks in the Turin semi-finals to qualify for the season’s end-of-season title.
“I really wanted to be in this position. I’m very happy to be able to compete for another big trophy, one of the biggest trophies we have in our sport,” said Djokovic. “It’s been a great week for me so far. Four out of four wins. Of course, I will give my all in the last game of the season. Frankly, I’ll do my best.”
The best moves of the Djokovic-Fritz match:
Often times, Djokovic has discovered his best tennis under the greatest pressure on the world’s biggest stages. It is abstract in the most difficult moments of the Serbs.
Winning for the old world #1 on the Pepperstone ATP Rankings isn’t always easy. On Friday, Djokovic needed more than three hours to beat Daniil Medvedev while under physical stress. He put this behind him to beat Fritz in a tense semi-final.
“I liked that I was able to win against Medvedev after a very long fight, then come back the next day before I had much time to recover and win another close game in straight sets against Fritz,” Djokovic said. “This is something that has defined my career in some ways over the years. I’ve had similar situations where I was able to bounce back and make really big gains.”
“Of course I want to win the trophy, but I won’t be the only player on the field to want that. I hope I can play most games this week at the same level and get a trophy.”
This is a position Djokovic is very familiar with. The Serbian athlete first won the Nitto ATP Finals in 2008. If he lifts the trophy on Sunday, there will be 14 years between his first and last titles in the year-end championships. The current record is held by Pete Sampras and Roger Federer, who took the first and last season-ending crowns eight years apart.
Also, Djokovic could equal Federer’s record of six Nitto ATP Finals titles. Through continuous evolution, it has positioned itself for this opportunity.
“I would like to believe that I am starting to develop in a positive way, like everyone else. I am experiencing changes in my body and of course in my mentality, mind, character. We are all developing and progressing. “We are different people every year,” said Djokovic. “Of course, in different circumstances of life, he adapts to them. and you try to be [una] best version [de la] that you’re in the previous year in general, not just in terms of athletics, results or tennis.
“There’s more experience. Maybe I like to believe there’s more wisdom in how I look at things about my sport and my life. Of course, I look at tennis and life very differently than I did 15 years ago. I’ve always been very meticulous about my approach and analysis on and off the court.”
Djokovic developed this mentality under the tutelage of his first tennis coach, Jelena Gencic. According to the 21-time big winner, she “was very professional and had this holistic approach to everything.”
“Of course, the older he got, the more things happened every year, the more lessons learned, the things he added and the other things disappeared,” Djokovic said. “Create a formula for success that clearly works for you, but may not work for someone else.”
Djokovic has successfully used this formula countless times throughout his career. On Sunday, he will be hoping to do so once again when he wants to be champion among champions.
Do you know…?
Djokovic is one win away from being a fourth-time undefeated Nitto ATP Finals champion. If he lifts the trophy, he will receive the largest payout in tennis history: a record cash prize of $4,740,300.
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