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"Don't know if something like this has ever happened to me" - Novak Djokovic on Dominic Thiem's comeback

Novak Djokovic (L) and Dominic Thiem
Novak Djokovic (L) and Dominic Thiem
Namit Kumar
ANALYST
Modified 22 Nov 2020, 02:22 IST
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Novak Djokovic's 2020 season has come to an end with a thrilling defeat at the hands of Dominic Thiem in the semifinal of the Nitto ATP Finals.

Following the defeat, the World No. 1 reflected on the incredible effort of his opponent, who has reached the final of the year-end event for the second consecutive year. Djokovic also spoke about his season as a whole, and how he thinks it could have been better.

Have had better and worse years: Novak Djokovic on 2020 season

Novak Djokovic at the Nitto ATP Finals 2020
Novak Djokovic at the Nitto ATP Finals 2020

While speaking to the press Novak Djokovic praised Dominic Thiem's 'unreal' effort, while asserting that he himself didn't do much wrong.

"It was a very even match from start to finish. We both served the third set well, it was fair to decide that break. It's unreal what he did 0-4 in that break. I don't think I played badly," Djokovic said.
"I think I threw in every first serve but he destroyed the ball on both sides, played a few short slices at an angle," the Serb added. "I controlled the match 4-0, I thought I was close to winning but he took it away from me. He was brave and everything worked."

The 33-year-old highlighted Dominic Thiem's conviction and attacking mindset, even suggesting that fortune favored the brave in this case.

"I don't know if something like this has ever happened to me. Sometimes when you close your eyes and play with all your might, it came in. I congratulate him on his courage," Novak Djokovic said.
"He hit the ball with all his might and everything came in. When he hits with full force, sometimes it comes off. It's simple. Like I said, he did everything right from 0-4, I have to take my hat off and congratulate him. I was in every point, I didn't push the ball, but he destroyed the ball, he played great," the World No. 1 added.
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Novak Djokovic has ended 2020 with four titles, including the Australian Open. However, he acknowledged that by his own incredibly high standards, he has had better seasons.

"OK. I've had both better and worse seasons, I won one Slam and played the finals of another. I finished the year as World No. 1, it sounds silly to say 'OK'. Of course it's a great season, but I'm striving for a better one and I think I can. It's a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth now after this ending, but in the end I at least played my game and fought to the end," the 17-time Grand Slam champion said.

Dominic Thiem will now take on the winner of the other semifinal between Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev in Sunday's final.

Published 22 Nov 2020, 02:22 IST
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