Tennis-Wimbledon win was huge confidence boost in tough year: Djokovic


  • Tennis
  • Monday, 31 Oct 2022

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - ATP 500 - Astana Open - National Tennis Center, Astana, Kazakhstan - October 9, 2022 Serbia's Novak Djokovic in action during the men's singles final against Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Pavel Mikheyev/File Photo

(Reuters) - Novak Djokovic said his Wimbledon triumph gave him a much-needed boost of confidence during a tough season and that it laid the platform for a strong finish to the year.

Djokovic was deported from Australia in the lead-up to the year's first Grand Slam in January for not being vaccinated against COVID-19. The Serb then struggled to hit top form and only began showing glimpses of his best at the end of the clay season.

The 35-year-old then beat Australian Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon final to bag his 21st Grand Slam crown before winning trophies in Tel Aviv and Astana and arriving in France primed to defend his Paris Masters title this week.

"The first part of the year with everything that happened in Australia, I felt challenged, very much emotionally, mentally off the court and it was affecting my game," Djokovic said.

"I was finding my way to that desired level and that happened towards the end of the clay season. Wimbledon always comes at the right time in my career. When I need that huge confidence boost and big title, Wimbledon is always there."

Djokovic has won the Paris title six times, including in his last two appearances in 2019 and 2021, and said coming back always brings him good memories.

"At this level it's important to have a good feeling on the court and good memory of coming to a place where you have done well, because tennis is a game of fine margins that decide who is going to take a win in the match," he added.

"Often, how you feel mentally, whether you're fighting with your demons inside in a good or bad way affects the end result. Here I always felt good."

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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