Novak Djokovic Makes History After Obtaining His 22nd Grand Slam
February 5, 2023
Novak Djokovic, one of tennis’ most beloved champions won his 22nd grand slam title at the Australian Open this past week. This signifies a major win for the Serbian player, tying him with another debated goat of tennis, Rafeal Nadal in all-time standings.
Djokovic faced Stefanos Tsitspias, beating him in a three set match of 6-3 7-6(7-4) 7-6(7-5) and reclaimed his place in ATP as world’s number one, followed by former one Carlos Alcarez.
Djokovic was seen crying and celebrating with his family and team after his historic win. He has now secured his 93 overall title, following fellow players Lendl (94), Federer (103), and Jimmy Conners (109).
In a press conference, Djokovic recounted the moment in which his triumphs hit him: “…I just think emotionally collapsed there and teared up with especially my mother and my brother, when I gave them a hug, because up to that moment I was not allowing myself to, I guess, be distracted with things off the court or whatever was happening in dealing with an injury, things happening off the court, as well, that could easily have been a big disturbance to my focus, to my game…It required an enormous mental energy really to stay present, to stay focused, to take things day by day, and really see how far I can go.”
Djokovic was unable to attend last year’s Australian Open due to his vaccination status; he also had to grapple with an injury and a video of his father with Russian supporters at the Australian Open.
Because of this, his father was not able to sit in the player’s box, something that made both “him and Djokovic sad.”
“That hurts me and him a lot because these are very special, unique moments. Who knows if they repeat again…So it was not easy for him. I saw him after the match, of course.”
“I could see that he’s a bit sad. Look, it is what it is. I think in the end also what he told me is that it’s important that I feel good on the court, I win the match, and he’s here for me.”
Djokovic’s coach, Goran Ivanisevic–a former player as well–recounted the recovery journey he took, receiving “77 therapies a day,” according to CNN.
“Let me put it like this…97% of the players, on Saturday when you get results of the MRI, you go straight to the referee office and pull out of the tournament. But not him.”
Djokovic says, “in the end, we have a happy ending.”