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"This is a Novak Djokovic we never really talk about" - Wilander on the Serb's brilliant serving at Australian Open 2021

Novak Djokovic celebrates his win against Aslan Karatsev
Novak Djokovic celebrates his win against Aslan Karatsev
Modified 19 Feb 2021

Mats Wilander recently showered rich praise on Novak Djokovic, claiming that the Serb was at his imperious best in his semifinal against Aslan Karatsev. Wilander believes that the World No. 1 will be extremely tough to beat in the final on Sunday, especially since he has been serving so well in the crunch moments.

Novak Djokovic defeated Aslan Karatsev without dropping a set on Thursday, while committing only 14 unforced errors throughout the match. Djokovic looked nearly flawless for most of the match, refusing to yield even an inch to his Russian opponent.

While speaking on Eurosport, Mats Wilander pointed out that Novak Djokovic’s rejuvenated play could be attributed to an improvement in the Serb’s physical condition.

"He (Novak Djokovic) looked very fresh and very focused, particularly for playing someone ranked so low who was there for the first time," Wilander said. "It most probably has more to do with himself and feeling much better. He knows he can see the finish line on Sunday and he will be tough to beat now."

According to Wilander, Djokovic’s game is working like clockwork at the moment. The Swede made particular mention of the 33-year-old's often-underrated serve, which can be a huge weapon when needed.

"There is no weakness there at all, he is serving big on the big points and that is what he will take away from this most," Wilander added. "He is able to serve aces on some break points, and that is a Djokovic we never really talk about."

Mats Wilander also feels Novak Djokovic has seen the last of his abdominal injury, and he stressed how the World No. 1 didn't look physically hampered against Karatsev.

"You could not tell at all today (that Djokovic has been injured)," Wilander said. "Not once did I think that he was injured just a few days ago."

Novak Djokovic’s intensity was a real sign of respect for Aslan Karatsev: Tim Henman

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

Tim Henman concurred with Mats Wilander about Novak Djokovic's level, while also lauding the Serb's mental approach to the match against Aslan Karatsev.

"Djokovic's intensity was a real sign of respect for his opponent," Henman noted. "Obviously Karatsev had caused some upsets and Djokovic wanted to make sure he wasn't going to be one of those."

The Brit further pointed out that Djokovic was in control of the match from start to finish, which showed in his picture-perfect tennis.

"Djokovic really grabbed the match by the scruff of the neck," Henman added. "He was just not making unforced errors from the back of the court and he really stamped his authority on the match because Karatsev started pretty well for his first semifinal."
Published 19 Feb 2021, 01:28 IST
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