Novak Djokovic ended his 2022 season on a high, recapturing the ATP Finals crown after a long gap of seven years.
The Serb got the better of Casper Ruud in the summit clash of the season-ending tournament to match Roger Federer's record for the most titles at the event — six.
His victory comes in the backdrop of the Serb having sustained a tough few months on the tour — missing out on both the Australian and US Open owing to his stance on the Covid-19 vaccine.
Addressing questions regarding Djokovic's drive and motivation at the end of a turbulent year, coach Goran Ivanisevic said the Serb is practicing harder than he was at the age of 22 and is hungry for more success.
Ivanisevic, appearing in the latest installment of The Tennis Radio podcast, said that while young guns like Carlos Alcaraz have achieved great heights in 2022, the work put in by some of the older players on Tour — including the likes of Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal — was "unbelievable."
"He's practicing even harder than he was at 22," Ivanisevic said. "That's why he's still so good. You know, the will to practice to improve, the will to be better is amazing. He's taking care of his body."
"In my time, we stop tennis at 31, you're ready to leave... Look at Roger [Federer], couple years back. Look at Rafa [Nadal]. They'll talk about young players, and it's great for tennis. You have the youngest number one in the world, Carlos. But you know, look at Novak, he's still hungry, still winning, he's still playing unbelievable tennis."
"ATP Finals win is a special one for Novak Djokovic" – Goran Ivanisevic
Turning his attention to the ATP Finals win, Ivanisevic said the victory was a special one for Djokovic — who, he acknowledged, had to go through some rough patches in a "very tough" 2022.
Showering praise on his charge, Ivanisevic said Djoker fully deserved the win.
"Because of everything that happened this year, with Wimbledon this year, but this one [ATP title] is special," Ivanisevic said. "The very tough year and then to finish the year like this and to win tournament like this after seven years." [sic]
"I think somebody from up there looking at all of this and saying, 'Okay, you're gonna finish the year like this,' and he deserves it. Nobody knows how it was to be him," Ivanisevic stated.
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