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Novak Djokovic's best tennis could still be to come, that's pretty daunting for everyone else: Tim Henman

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic
Modified 17 Feb 2021

Tim Henman believes Novak Djokovic’s could keep getting better at the 2021 Australian Open, and that the players left in the draw should be wary of the Serb in the matches to come.

Henman, a former World No. 4, currently serves as an analyst for Eurosport alongside seven-time Slam champion Mats Wilander. During one of their recent analysis sessions, the Brit spoke glowingly about Djokovic’s resilience.

Henman opined that Novak Djokovic beat Alexander Zverev despite not playing his best tennis, which attests to the Serb’s greatness.

"This emphasizes why he is such an amazing champion," Henman said. "He hasn’t played great, but he finds a way to win the match and he’s through to the semifinals with an amazing opportunity."
Novak Djokovic after beating Alexander Zverev
Novak Djokovic after beating Alexander Zverev

The Brit sounded bullish when speaking about Novak Djokovic’s chances for the rest of the tournament. Henman reckons that the World No. 1 can up his game by a notch or two in the next couple of matches, which is an ominous sign for the remaining players.

"His best tennis in this event could still be to come, so I think that's pretty daunting for everyone else left in the men's draw," Henman said.

Novak Djokovic’s injury issues have severely divided opinion amongst the tennis fraternity lately. While some feel that the Serb is exaggerating the extent of his abdominal injury, others believe Djokovic is playing through the pain.

But Tim Henman claimed that the injury situation has another dimension to it, as Djokovic’s condition is likely to play on the minds of his opponents.

"The other side of the coin is that other players will be thinking about it, going on court thinking about if their opponent is a little bit injured," Henman added.

Novak Djokovic did not show signs of injury: Mats Wilander

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

Mats Wilander, meanwhile, opined that Novak Djokovic showed no ‘signs of injury’ during his match against Alexander Zverev. However, Wilander added that the issue will likely continue to linger on in Djokovic’s mind, given how he keeps mentioning it in the public sphere.

“Djokovic did not show signs of injury,” Wilander said. “He is not letting go of this injury; he keeps talking about it.”

Mats Wilander believes that Novak Djokovic repeatedly refers to his injury for a specific reason. According to the three-time Australian Open champion, Djokovic’s physical condition gives him with the impetus to play differently and be more attacking.

"Maybe he is holding on to the fact that he is a little bit injured because it does give him maybe the belief in how he has to play: taking risks and playing shorter points,” Wilander went on. “Sometimes we talk about it and sometimes we don't - he chooses to talk about it."
Published 17 Feb 2021, 15:07 IST
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