Novak Djokovic’s tennis season, if any, began again on Tuesday at home.
He was deported to Australia in January for failing to undergo a Covid-19 vaccine and failing to meet entry requirements, was first beaten in Dubai in February and was unable to enter the United States to play in March, Djokovic returned to court at the Monte-Carlo Masters. after seven weeks of rest from competition. Not the target from the start, he failed miserably before winning his first game against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-1.
Davidovich, a 22-year-old Spaniard, has broken the job of Djokovic six times, Djokovic who has been severely beaten on the road in each of the top three games.
“I fainted,” Djokovic told reporters in Monaco. “I was hanging out all over the game. I was always following the results.”
It was definitely a disappointment. Djokovic, despite his recent retirement, is still ranked No. 1 in the men’s race. Having won 20 major titles, nearing the end of the Grand Slam last season and has become the second clay player in the last decade behind Rafael Nadal.
Davidovich, despite reaching the French Open quarterfinals last year, was ranked 46th and lost in the opening game of his last two games. As of Tuesday, he had beaten only 10 players.
But in reality, this victory over Djokovic was just amazing. Djokovic, who remains vaccinated in the Covid-19, is rusty for obvious reasons and soon turns 35. Men’s tennis is full of depth and rising stars as 18-year-old Davidovich Carlos Alcaraz, who recently won the Miami Open.
Despite the turmoil in Djokovic-Alcaraz’s quarter-final match, Djokovic scored more than he could have achieved from the second most reliable Spaniard in the game.
“I knew Nole didn’t have that confidence, because he didn’t play very well,” said Davidovich, using Djokovic’s name. “I had to look at every point because I had a chance from the beginning, and I just did.”
Davidovich, 22, looks like a Viking ready to make a fuss with his head shaved off at the sides and his beautiful hair back to the core. His father Eduard Mark Davidovich, a former boxer, came from Sweden with his mother Tatiana Fokina from Russia. But he was born in Malaga, Spain, and grew up, as his name implies, in the southern part of Andalusia. He started playing tennis at the age of 2 – even younger than Djokovic – and has become one of the fastest, most athletic men under the leadership of his former coach, Jorge Aguirre.
He has a tattoo of breaking waves on his hands, and he plays tennis aggressively and discreetly, using a shotgun and serving on the ground. He often plays as a guard: throwing himself into the air to chase big shots or serve under T. Against Djokovic, soon covered in red clay, which remains his best position despite winning the Wimbledon boys’ title on the grass in 2017.
Psychology has been a major stumbling block for Davidovich, and he has been in contact with a psychologist for several years in an effort to control his anger and to preserve his mental and emotional well-being.
“Improving everything inside is not easy,” Aguirre told ABC’s Spanish newspaper last year. “There are times when they begin to question whether he really is ready. That instability comes as a result of insecurity. We have managed to reduce them. In the past, they lasted for months, weeks, and now we are working on a game or a single game and then a year or so later. ”
Sanapitebe. Twice in the second set, Davidovich lost his way, giving Djokovic power. Although Djokovic failed to deliver the second goal 5-4 – making four unforgettable mistakes – he managed to win the race and shoot forward.
Looking into the eyes, Djokovic put his finger to his ear and shook his head boldly as he looked at the group before crying out for relief. It was a familiar experience for those who followed the Serbian star, but there would be no comeback this time, among other things because they played a little too soon and the second one required 1 hour 23 minutes of effort.
After 10 minutes, Djokovic returned to the clay after a long pause, but soon released the evil forces, speaking for himself as he lost his job even though he jumped at 40-15. At the time, Davidovich was unmoved: finishing a race that had beaten him well in their last two games and who had been his tennis model for a long time (he played with them in Spain during the plague).
But Djokovic’s game and his performance were almost unnoticed as he ran his own service game and missed a shot later. He ended up with 51 unforced misconduct at a club where, as a Monaco resident, he regularly coaches.
“I was not happy with how I felt in the third quarter,” Djokovic said. “I ran out of gas. I could not sit in a meeting with him. I mean, if you can’t stay in the meeting, not feeling your feet in the mud, it’s an impossible task.
It was her anxieties that consumed her. Djokovic has been extremely healthy, but he has had two coronaviruses, although he did not say that this affected his endurance.
“I look with my team for reasons,” he said of his third appearance.
It’s a small team now. He is no longer working with Marian Vajda, a former colleague and coach, leaving Goran Ivanisevic, the 2001 Wimbledon champion, as his head coach. Ivanisevic was with Djokovic in January in Australia, where he came to defend his Australian Open title but his visa was revoked due to vaccination. He spent time in prison when his appeal was upheld and he was expelled on the eve of the Australian Open. After missing American festivals at Indian Wells, Calif., And Miami, he has only played four games in 2022.
His record is now 2-2, but keep in mind that Djokovic is one of the most prolific fighters in the game and that he lost to early Monte Carlo in the past, but he got better at the French Open, his main goal in May. .
Next up in his unusual season: a clay house next week at a competition in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia where he was born.