Novak Djokovic impresses Mats Wilander leaving the Swede questioning the youngsters’ inability to defeat the Serb despite his troubles this year

Mats Wilander questions the young players on the ATP Tour following Novak Djokovic's undefeated title win at the 2022 ATP Finals.

Mats Wilander and Novak Djokovic
Mats Wilander and Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic capped off the 2022 season with the 2022 ATP Finals title and taking home a cheque of $4.7 million, the highest-ever won by a tennis player. The Serb not only won the Finals but also won the Wimbledon and three more Tour titles, one each at the ATP-250, ATP-500, and Masters-1000 tiers.

Djokovic was absent from the events held in Australia and the USA. His absence was owed to his unvaccinated status against Covid-19 and the two countries enforcing a strict policy to now allow unvaccinated foreigners. Despite a total absence of nearly 3 months from the season, Djokovic ends the season as the joint-most successful title winner.

Djokovic defeated Casper Ruud in the finals at the year-end championships in Turin. Djokovic lost only 7 matches this year and only twice after winning Wimbledon, prior to which he was still rusty due to his absence from the Tour. The inability of young players to defeat Djokovic who was not at his 100% has however left former World No. 1 Mats Wilander astonished.

“I’m sometimes a little surprised that young people can’t knock him down. But I’m even more amazed by Novak. It’s amazing what he can do on a tennis court, with his ground coverage, his defense, and especially his will to win even the ‘small matches’, him being perhaps the best player ever. He always finds a way to make sense of it all. I’m so impressed,” said Wilander speaking with Eurosport France.

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Mats Wilander opines on Novak Djokovic’s ranking downfall

Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic
Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic

Along with his absence in the Australian and the US Open, Djokovic stumbled down the rankings massively. His failure to defend the French Open title and the complete point removal from Wimbledon also didn’t help his case as he fell to World No. 8 from being the top-ranked player.

“Yes, circumstances have deprived him of the place of world number 1. Novak is clearly world number 1 for a few months at least in 2022, and this was also the case for Rafa who won the Australian Open and Roland-Garros. And Alcaraz was also for other reasons.

“He was because he brought a lot of enthusiasm and also because of his ability to manage the pressure that he put on his own shoulders. He had to win the US Open to be number 1 and he did. So I think he deserves to be,” added Wilander further speaking on the much-debated ranking dispute.

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