“They can beat Novak,” “Superbrat” John McEnroe talks about mettle secrets needed to beat top seed Novak Djokovic as the Serb continues to be at the peak

John McEnroe points out the key factors needed to defeat Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open ahead of the semi-finals of the Grand Slam event.

“They can beat Novak,” “Superbrat” John McEnroe talks about mettle secrets needed to beat top seed Novak Djokovic as the Serb continues to be at the peak

John McEnroe and Novak Djokovic (Credits: Imago)

The title defense at the 2024 Australian Open for defending champion Novak Djokovic has been very well so far. The Serb did have a slight problem in the first two rounds but has since been in complete control of his fate.

He dispatched in-form American Taylor Fritz in four sets to reach the semis in Melbourne Park. Nole won the match 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 to reach his 11th semi-final at the Major. In all of his previous appearances, he has never failed to reach the final winning the title on all 10 occasions.

With a spectacular record Down Under, it’s never easy to lock horns with the Serbian great. As he gears up for a place in his 11th final, the World No. 1 will take on Italian sensation Jannik Sinner. The fourth seed had an injury scare in the quarter-finals, but still managed to beat Andrey Rublev in straight-sets.

Ahead of this high-stake match, 7-time Major winner John McEnroe had some words of advice for the Italian.

Novak is playing incredible tennis. The key for anyone to beat him, including Sinner, is do they deep down in the heart of hearts have the belief that they can beat Novak. This is a mental game when you’re out there on your own. 
said McEnroe speaking with Eurosport.
This is a physical game, yes, and you have your coach on the sidelines, but this is about believing and executing your game plan and thinking you can beat that one person on the other side of the court. 
added the American.

The advice was not specifically limited to Sinner but to all the remaining players. The second semi-final will be contested between old foes Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev.

John McEnroe calls Novak Djokovic a ‘human backboard’ predicting the AO title for him

McEnroe did blurt out the trick needed to overpower Djokovic, but that was not all the American said. He was courteous enough to praise the 24-time Grand Slam title winner lauding his mental prowess and exceptional skill set.

John McEnroe and Novak Djokovic
John McEnroe and Novak Djokovic (Credits: The Independent)

The American great pointed out the challenges that come in the way of beating Nole in a best-of-five match. And went on to explain why he believes it will be the 11th time Djokovic emerges champion in Melbourne Park.

That is one very tough thing as Djokovic is like a human backboard and knows how to manage himself when necessary, and knows how to pace himself. He’s got everything. He's got every trick in the book.
said McEnroe.
And he’s got no weaknesses. It’s an incredibly tall order to beat him in a best-of-five-set match. That’s why Djokovic can, and probably will win it again here.
concluded the American.

With two straight-set wins in the five matches he has played so far, Djokovic does look the favorite for the title once again. The fans in Australia did heckle him but that only fuelled his fire and shut the fans who are now starting to respect the Serb.

For Sinner, it will be a monumental task to defeat Nole. Nursing an injury himself, questions about the Italian’s fitness are already puzzling fans.

After winning their first four encounters, Djokovic lost both of their previous encounters. Sinner will surely take this as a confidence booster but it still might not be enough to defeat the King of Melbourne Park.

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