‘I’m sure that many of the fans are disappointed’

It is no secret that Novak Djokovic has the 2023 Australian Open in his sights. If he triumphs for the tenth time at Melbourne Park, the Serbian star would catch up with his eternal rival, Rafael Nadal, with 22 Grand Slams.

The 35-year-old from Belgrade also wants to take revenge for last year’s exclusion, with expulsion from the country. In the second half of 2022, Nole proved that he is still the man to beat by winning five titles – including Wimbledon and the ATP Finals – and finishing the year in the Top 5.

Djokovic’s 2023 started in the best possible way, after disposing of Constant Lestienne quite easily in the first round of the ATP Adelaide. The one led by Goran Ivanisevic has shown that he is already in top form and that he is willing to leave very little to his rivals at this stage of the season.

The 21-time Slam champion has always had a special bond with Australia, where he has delivered perhaps the best tennis of his entire career. In an interview with “L’Equipe”, Lestienne analyzed his performance against Djokovic.

It was a great experience, really. Obviously, it is not the best thing in life to face Novak Djokovic in the first round, but it is also true that you learn a lot from these types of matches,” said Lestienne. “It will be a good story to tell my kids.

I had never faced a player of this caliber before today (yesterday, ed), so I was a little nervous before going out on court. I didn’t know if I would be up to the task. I started the match well, I even had a break point and I saw Novak getting nervous.

At the time I thought he could win, seriously! I know it may sound stupid, but I really believed it.”

Djokovic talks about Alcaraz

Novak Djokovic expressed his disappointment and empathized with Carlos Alcaraz. “It’s not good for the tournament and tennis.

He’s No. 1 in the world. Such a big name, big star in our sport already,” he said. “I’m sure that many of the fans are disappointed. I hope for his speedy recovery, whatever it is. I know he had an injury at the end of last season that was different from this one.

It’s unfortunate for him. I hope he can recover and be back on the tour quickly. It happens that sometimes, even if you have a longer period of time without an official tournament, your body is not used to that kind of conditions and circumstances because as a tennis player, you’re constantly on the road, playing competitions.

When you are out of that rhythm, body can react. You can have some injuries and difficulties when you come back to the tour and start pushing more and giving more intensity to the points,” he added.

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