Novak Djokovic is having a tricky begin in 2022. After being thrown out of Australia within the intense warmth of a vaccine and immigration row and shocked within the quarter-finals of the Dubai Open, Djokovic has been relegated to the sidelines.
All of the whereas, ATP 250 and 500 tournaments race by with none signal of the Serb’s presence. Conspicuous by his absence, it makes a outstanding distinction to final yr, the place Djokovic had gained the Australian Open and was gearing as much as defeat Rafael Nadal on his strategy to a second French Open title.
Dubai was once a mainstay of Djokovic’s calendar and a key occasion in his laborious courtroom appearances. He has gained the event 5 instances, with three of these titles occurring in a row from 2009 to 2011.
However in opposition to Jiri Vesely within the quarter-finals, Djokovic grew to become unstuck. The Czech used the quick courtroom situations to his benefit, both going for quick one-two punches that have been too fast for even Djokovic to trace down or utilizing drop photographs and netplay to disclaim his opponent an opportunity to construct a rhythm.
Djokovic made just a few uncharacteristic unforced errors at essential moments, maybe because of the relative lack of match expertise. The Serb managed to get to a tiebreak within the second set, however one other fast one-two punch from Vesely on his serve caught the sideline, jettisoned Djokovic from the event, and beneath the rating system, will permit Daniil Medvedev to assert the primary spot this Monday.
Djokovic vs Vesely Highlights, Dubai 2022
Djokovic’s future success is determined by whether or not he can journey and compete beneath native well being guidelines. For a person who arguably pays extra consideration to element than anybody else relating to the science of successful – from strict management over his food plan to yoga and meditation – his probabilities of victory are actually exterior his meticulous scope.
Let’s take a look at the important thing Masters 1000 tournaments as much as the French Open.
With Indian Wells and Miami, the US won’t permit Djokovic to compete beneath present guidelines. Then comes Monte-Carlo, however the French authorities can solely settle for gamers with a particular vaccine cross.
After that comes the Madrid Open, however the Spanish authorities have comparable guidelines the place vaccination is important to compete within the draw.
One ray of sunshine for Djokovic is the Italian Open held in Rome. Valentina Vezzali, an Italian well being minister, urged that guidelines for outdoor tournaments are anticipated to be relaxed by Could, permitting Djokovic to journey freely and compete there – an important warm-up fixture on clay earlier than Roland Garros.
Wimbledon is Djokovic’s greatest probability of competing in his subsequent grand slam event, with the final of home restrictions being lifted in England.
Relating to returning to the primary rating, Medvedev’s dislike of clay courts may assist restrict the distinction in factors between the 2 gamers whereas Djokovic stays out of motion.
Although Medvedev has loved substantial success up to now three years, none of his titles has come on clay, famously declared in his spherical of 32 match in opposition to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina on the Madrid Open, “I don’t wish to play right here on this floor!”
He additionally jokingly requested the umpire on the Italian Open to default him after hitting the ball into the web throughout a match in opposition to Aslan Karatsev.
Medvedev vs Davidovich Fokina, Madrid 2021
Whereas this might give Djokovic some respiration house, the American laborious courtroom season continues within the lead as much as the US Open, the place Medvedev’s most well-liked situations return to the fore. However as time passes and authorities guidelines ease, Nadal and Roger Federer have proven that it’s attainable to accrue additional grand slam titles with out being high of the pack.
Nadal was ranked 5 when he gained the Australian Open this yr. Federer’s resurgent 2017 season started with successful the event ranked simply seventeen. Djokovic’s personal 2017 noticed him take the second half of the season off after Wimbledon, solely to win the occasion the next yr, together with Cincinnati, the US Open and Shanghai.
So whereas situations and circumstances could briefly conspire in opposition to gamers at specific phases of their careers, Djokovic is undoubtedly outfitted to see the tough instances by way of and return to high-level competitors as soon as restrictions are eased.
Do you suppose Djokovic will be capable of play in any grand slams this yr? And can he be in a adequate state when he returns to compete successfully? Let me know within the feedback beneath.