Former doubles World No. 1 Paul McNamee praised Novak Djokovic’s return technique against Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon finals this year. The Serbian clinched his seventh grasscourt Major title by defeating the Australian 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(3) in July.
Kyrgios' serve is one of his strongest skills, as evidenced by the 30 aces he served throughout the match and his 73% first serve success rate. While his serve approach succeeded in the first set, Djokovic demonstrated why he is the champion by adjusting his return technique.
The depth of his return caused Kyrgios to become uncertain about his next shot as the 21-time Grand Slam champion began to put more and more balls into play. In the end, the former World No. 1 emerged victorious.
The Tennis Podcast took to social media to ask its followers about their favorite tennis moments, stories, or matches from 2022.
“What is the one tennis moment/story/match that you will remember 2022 for, above all other?” tweeted The Tennis Podcast.
Australian former doubles World No. 1 Paul McNamee responded to the post, stating that it was the Wimbledon Final. He said that only a player at the top of his game, like Lew Hoad, could have defeated Kyrgios that day. He went on to say that Djokovic returned exceptionally well against the best server in the sport.
“Wimbledon Final… only one player (and perhaps Lew Hoad) playing at his zenith, could have beaten @NickKyrgios that day… truly remarkable returning against the best serve in the sport,” wrote Paul McNamee.
"To win the Australian Open, you have to win against the best" - Juan Ferrero believes Novak Djokovic's presence vital for Carlos Alcaraz's development
Novak Djokovic's three-year visa ban, which followed his deportation from Down Under earlier this year, was recently overturned, freeing him to travel to Australia and compete in the season's first Grand Slam.
In a recent interview with Eurosport, Carlos Alcaraz's coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero, stated that both he and Alcaraz are happy that Djokovic will compete in the 2023 Australian Open as playing against the greatest players will help the young Spaniard develop as a player.
"Carlos and I were talking about that we’re happy to see Novak there because if you want to win the Australian Open you have to win against the best, and of course it’s good news," said Ferrero.
"I think for Carlos to improve his tennis he needs to play against one of the best in the history. Of course Rafa (Nadal) is there to play against him and Novak, we need him," he added.
The 42-year-old, referring to their encounter in Madrid, remarked that Alcaraz needs to play the Serbian at the Majors to improve as a player.
“In Madrid, Carlos played against Novak and he increased his level to try to win the match, so that’s what we need, to play in the Slams against him, I think it’s very important for Carlos to improve," he stated.
Ferrero also reserved praise for the Serb, lauding him for his determination to win "almost everything."
"I think after the US Open, which he couldn’t play, he was very focused to show himself that he is able to win almost everything that he played, we saw again that he’s able to do it," Ferrero expressed.
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