20-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic has been in the Top-10 since July 2018 and the re-entry was after a short injury break that saw him spend 8 months outside the Top-10. Prior to that, he had last been outside the Top-10 a decade ago in 2007 when he first became a member of the top-ranked club on 19th March 2007.
Djokovic was a teen sensation since he turned Pro in 2003 at the age of 16 and rose quickly in ranks to slowly become one of the all-time greats. Speaking about the rise and how good as a teenager Novak was, former Russian player Nikolay Davydenko recently shared a story of the young Serb and the conversation Nikolay had with Novak’s first coach and Italian tennis coach Riccardo Piatti.
“I was surprised” Nikolay Davydenko on watching Novak Djokovic as a junior
Davydenko in his recent interview with Sasa Ozmo gave a story about Djokovic on how the Serb turned heads towards him from a very young age. Davydenko, a former World No. 3 and the winner of the 2009 ATP Finals, had Djokovic as a warmup partner and he left the Russian stunned with his incredible ball control.
“I have one anecdote when it comes to Novak, from his time as a junior. We were in Rome and he was my partner for the warmup before the match. I was surprised with the way he controlled the ball – I was hitting really good balls and each one came back. He moved really well too. He was 16-17 years old at the time, he was working with Riccardo Piatti, and he told me: ‘Novak will be the next top player’. And I answered: ‘It seems so’. In two years, he was already in the top 10. Amazing – boom. And he is still there,” said Davydenko.
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