Victoria Azarenka drops some truth about Novak Djokovic

(Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images)
(Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

Novak Djokovic is fresh off another ATP Finals title and is about to begin Davis Cup play for Serbia this week. With just a little help, arguably the greatest player ever can lead his country to a Davis Cup victory for the second time. Why would anyone doubt Djokovic at this point?

There are many things that make the Serb the player who has achieved more than any other in men’s tennis. He has more Grand Slams (24), more Masters 1000 titles (40), more ATP Finals (7), and more weeks ranked No. 1 (400). He has a well-placed serve, a powerful forehand, an astonishing backhand, and the ability to move around the court like few others. But lots of players have those skills.

According to former WTA top 10 player Victoria Azarenka, the most underrated part of Djokovic’s greatness is his ability to elevate his play as needed and then be determined to win once a new level is reached. This is obvious in his matches recently against Carlos Alcaraz. The top two ranked players on the ATP tour have met twice since Alcaraz defeated Djokovic in the Wimbledon final, and Djoko has won twice.

Novak Djokovic has one extremely underrated skill

In the Western and Southern Open final after losing the first set and getting to a tie-break in the second set, Djoko wasn’t necessarily physically better than Alcaraz but his will to win was simply stronger. Alcaraz has not yet developed that skill, and few players ever – maybe none – have ever had the kind of determination to win that Djokovic has.

In the ATP Finals semis, the Serb was simply more prepared than the Spaniard. But in the second set when the match began to tighten some, Djokovic was able to reach a higher level mentally and stayed calm. Alcaraz seemed to wilt in high-stress games.

Also at the ATP Finals after losing in the round-robin stage to Jannik Sinner, and while Sinner was still unbeaten in the tournament entering the final, Djokovic did not simply outhit Sinner. The top-ranked player was just mentally stronger than the Italian and did not let the crowd rattle him and appeared to be even calmer when games got to deuce. Novak Djokovic is great for a lot of reasons, but he might be the best ever because of his will to win.

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