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"Novak Djokovic needs to realize that his season was perfect" - Alex Corretja

Novak Djokovic with his 2021 US Open runner-up trophy
Novak Djokovic with his 2021 US Open runner-up trophy
ANALYST

Alex Corretja recently opined Novak Djokovic shouldn't be too hard on himself after his US Open final defeat to Daniil Medvedev, as he reckons the Serb has had a "perfect" season.

Djokovic's Calendar Slam hopes went up in smoke on Sunday as he fell at the final hurdle to the Russian. The World No. 1 struggled to bring forth his best tennis as Medvedev outplayed and outthought him right from the first point.

Djokovic looked visibly disappointed with himself throughout the match, given how desperately he wanted to win the Calendar Slam and etch his name into the history books as the GOAT. But Alex Corretja, in a recent conversation on Eurosport, claimed that the Serb would bounce back strongly from this defeat.

"This is a learning process for Novak as well and I'm sure he will come back strong," Corretja said.

For Novak Djokovic, the loss to Daniil Medvedev was only his sixth of the season, and the first at the Slams. In that context, Corretja asserted that the reigning Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon champion should take pride in his performances this year, as that would help him begin on a fresh note for the future.

"He (Novak Djokovic) needs to realise that his season was perfect and it was just that he lost a couple of matches," Corretja added. "For him it's going to relieve the whole pressure and he will take on new goals for the future."

The Spaniard also believes Djokovic would have a good chance of turning things around at the Australian Open next year or the ATP Finals this year, assuming he decides to take part in the latter.

"And that will come again in winning the Australian Open next year, or even the ATP Finals at the end of this year if he decides not to take a little bit of time off to chill," Corretja concluded.

Daniil Medvedev neutralized Novak Djokovic's game a little bit: Mats Wilander

Daniil Medvedev with his 2021 US Open title
Daniil Medvedev with his 2021 US Open title

Mats Wilander, who was also part of the conversation with Alex Corretja, spoke a few words on how Daniil Medvedev managed to outplay Novak Djokovic in Sunday's US Open final.

According to the seven-time Slam champion, Medvedev actively avoided hitting with too much power so as to rob Djokovic of the chance to redirect his pace. Wilander further suggested that the Serb had to be the proactive player in the rallies, and that he struggled to hit through Medvedev.

"He neutralized Novak's game a little bit," Wilander said. "He didn't hit too hard. A lot of his shots were going down the middle of the court and he was asking Novak to actively do something and show that he has the power to hit through him."

The Swede believes Medvedev did well to earn himself several free points on his serve. Wilander also pointed out that the second seed was the smarter and stronger player on the day.

"Medvedev was serving incredibly well and you need to do that for free points. Medvedev was too smart, too strong physically," Wilander added.

Daniil Medvedev came into Sunday's final having spent around five hours less than Novak Djokovic on court. He had dropped just one set in the previous six rounds, which was against Botic van de Zandschulp in the quarterfinals.

In that context, Mats Wilander stressed that Medvedev was never pushed in the tournament, which in turn kept him fit and fresh for the clash against Novak Djokovic.

"Medvedev wasn't tested in the whole tournament," Wilander said. "Yes he played four sets with [Botic] Van de Zandschulp 7-5 in the fourth but he wasn't really tested. He had more energy in the end and was a nightmare opponent for Djokovic the way it went."
Edited by Musab Abid
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