risk everything to play for Serbia

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It cannot be said that this has been an easy season for Novak Djokovic (Belgrade, Serbia; 1987). It has been very good, that of course, but also one of the most demanding at 34 years of age touching 60 games in 2021. That is why it has a double value to see the Serbian tennis player on the court of Madrid fighting to take his country to the final of the Davis Cup.

“Hello, Madrid. How are you? Everything okay?” With those words, in perfect Spanish, Djokovic is able to lift the Madrid crowd. He is good at conquering people, although his greatest virtue will always be to do it with his tennis. That tennis that this Wednesday guided Serbia to victory Kazakhstan.

Nole did his job. He took part of the quarter-final tie with a 0-1 loss after Kecmanovic’s loss to Kukushkin and turned it around: first by beating Alexander Bublik in his hand and, after having the luxury of talking with the fans of the Madrid Arena, then conquering the doubles together with Nikola Cacic against Golubev and Nedovyesov. Serbia is in the semifinals and dreams of repeating victory at Davis after the one achieved in 2010.

In the semis, Croatia is waiting, coming off Australia and beating Hungary in groups and beating Italy in the quarterfinals. It will be the penultimate challenge, if all goes well, for a Djokovic who does not want to close the year without fighting for Davis in the final. Presumably, the one that sneaks in from the other side of the frame will be the Russia from Daniil Medvedev, number 2 in the world.

Davis has noted the absence of big stars, starting with Reef Nadal and Roger Federer who were recovering from their injuries in this final stretch of the season. But other powers of the circuit such as Alexander Zverev or Matteo Berrettini, from a different generation than Nole, but who, not like the Serbian, also put their rest time before the national team tournament.

Because Djokovic’s hunger is insatiable and he wants to repeat the Davis title eleven years later, now under a new format, which he conquered in 2010 when he was only 23 years old. Those were other times and the Serbian, who by then had not yet risen to number one in the ATP, is indisputably the best in the world and, perhaps, in history.

Djokovic has learned to overcome the sticks, as it was this year to run out of a medal in Tokyo 2020 despite being the favorite to gold. He also lost in the final of US Open against Medvedev (in three sets) when a victory would have raised him as the tennis player with the most Grand Slams of all history. The race with Federer and Nadal is still tied at 20.

45 days to the Australian Open

It is this dispute between the three that motivates the Big Three to follow, but it is Djokovic who has it the most for his obvious physical superiority at this point in his careers. It is what allows him to be doubling his efforts in the Davis Cup to take his country towards the final when there is not even a month and a half left to start the good of the 2022 season with the celebration of the Open de Australia.

Separate debates on whether Nole will be able to play in Victoria for the vaccine or not, Djokovic plans to be there and elevate his hegemony in this tournament to ten titles. His triumph would go down in history because of what that number 21 would mean in the account of Grand Slams won, but it would also be because of his way of continuing to fight for everything at 34 years old. There is no one to stop him.

[Más información: Novak Djokovic pide cambios en el formato de la Copa Davis: “¿Se sigue el dinero o la tradición?”]

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