Novak Djokovic has long been perceived as the tennis player closest to perfection. And he provided further evidence of that during his semifinal match against Stefanos Tsitsipas at the 2020 French Open.
The Greek undoubtedly gave his very best on the day, but it wasn’t enough to get the better of Novak Djokovic. The Serb not only chased down practically everything, but also returned serve at a mind-boggling level throughout the match.
The very fact that Tsitsipas could take Novak Djokovic to five sets after trailing by two sets (and facing match point) is in itself a mini-miracle
Speaking to reporters during his post-match conference, Stefanos Tsitsipas admitted that Novak Djokovic was a source of inspiration for him because of the way he has almost ‘reached perfection’ in his tennis.
“For sure he has almost reached perfection, Novak, in his game style, the way he plays, which is unbelievable to see, honestly,” Tsitsipas said. “That inspires me a lot to go out and work and try to reach that perfection, that ability to have everything on the court.”
Novak Djokovic is one of the most difficult opponents I have faced in my entire life: Stefanos Tsitsipas
Many believe Stefanos Tsitsipas could have put up a better fight in the fifth set if his body hadn’t given up on him. However, that is exactly why Novak Djokovic deserves all the accolades that he gets; he is able to maintain superhuman-like fitness no matter what the situation.
Novak Djokovic’s body can withstand the toughest of matches and endure the harshest of conditions. Even back-to-back grueling five-setters are rarely enough to tire out the Serb.
Stefanos Tsitsipas rued his missed chances during the press conference and suggested that he could have had a ‘better result’. But he immediately followed that by lauding Novak Djokovic’s athleticism and skill.
“I feel happy and at the same time sad,” Tsitsipas said. “Could have been a better result for me today. Novak showed once again what an incredible athlete (he is) and his ability on the courts.”
There is no doubt that Novak Djokovic is currently the toughest opponent that anyone can face. The Serb has been unbeatable throughout the year barring his disqualification from the US Open, and has looked flawless in most of his matches at Roland Garros so far.
Stefanos Tsitsipas acknowledged as much while also saying he has 'huge respect' for the Serb.
“I think (Novak Djokovic is) one of the most difficult opponents I've faced in my entire life,” Tsitsipas said. “I have huge respect for that. He gave me a really difficult time on the court.”Published 10 Oct 2020, 17:35 IST