Novak Djokovic made a name for himself in 2006. The young Serb racked up 40 ATP wins and became one of the youngsters to watch. Rafael Nadal led the new generation of players born around 1986. Djokovic was ready to join him at the top in 2007, finishing the previous season just outside the top-15 and setting high goals for himself heading into the new one.
Novak started 2007 with the Adelaide title and wished for more at the Australian Open. The Serb could have played better in Melbourne in the previous two years. He changed it with a great performance in the first three rounds of 2007 to get into the round of 16.
The man from Belgrade needed 81 minutes to topple Nicolás Massú in the first round, giving up four games and gaining momentum. The teenager didn’t have too many problems in the second round against Feliciano López, controlling the score and moving on to the third round.
The Serbian defeated Danai Udomchoke in four sets and qualified for the round of 16. In doing so, Novak won three consecutive meetings in the Majors for the second time and set the clash against the world number 1, Roger Federer.
The Swiss won the two previous meetings against the Serb in 2006. Novak was set to change that in Melbourne, hoping to bring his A game and stick to his backcourt game that would put the defending champion on the spot. Djokovic was ready to leave it all on the court and play some smart tennis against the leading figure in world tennis.
Cilic praises Djokovic
2022 was a year of high level for Marin Cilic. The Croatian returned to the fore based on great results and posh victories, including authentic displays, like the one he signed against Daniil Medvedev at Roland Garros.
But that is a closed chapter, a season that was very different from the current scenario. For example, at the beginning of that year Novak Djokovic was not in the big events, while there was still talk of a possible return of Roger Federer to the competition, although without clarified dates.
“Hats off to Novak, because he endured a huge emotional hardship in January of last year. Whatever happened was not fair to him, definitely not. As a sportsman, having to remember and go through all that is absolutely disastrous, it’s really difficult.
However, he has again shown that he has the amazing ability to stay focused, to stay focused mentally. He was able to win a Grand Slam after everything that happened, so my biggest congratulations. He managed to play a great level and finished the season in a fantastic way.
After the US Open, we met in Tel Aviv, but also in Kazakhstan and Bercy played at an incredible level. I wish him all the best for this new season.”