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Djokovic: “This is possibly the match of Tsitsipas’s life”
Ahead of his clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Australian Open finals, Novak Djokovic told Serbian reporters that he is getting prepared for a taxing battle.
Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas have squared off 12 times so far, with the Serb leading head-to-head 10-2, having won nine last matches.
“You can say that this final was expected, considering how we played. There is not a lot of secrets between us. He knows my game, I know his. So far, we haven’t met only on grass. Tsitsipas has matured a lot, he is 25 and at the peak of his abilities. This is possibly the match of his life – he is playing for a world No 1 and a Grand Slam title, against me,” Djokovic said.
“He is going to be really motivated and he is playing well, you can see the progress. But I know what to do tactically, I have played some of my best matches in Melbourne. I am ready to go to distance: if it’s five sets, then it’s five sets; if it’s five hours, then five hours. I am looking forward to it.”
Djokovic: “I know that I can get into the head of my opponents”
Asked whether convincing victories over his past three foes – Alex de Minaur, Andrey Rublev and Tommy Paul – send certain kind of a message, Djokovic answered:
“A message cannot get much stronger than dominating sets in the latter phase of a slam. My opponents and their teams are always watching, monitoring my matches looking for some weaknesses. So, the more dominant, the better, because then I know that I can get into the head of my opponents: they know they have to play the best match of their life to beat me. I am glad it’s that way.”
For the last few days in Melbourne, Djokovic – whose injured hamstring is taped and he hasn’t practiced on off-days during the tournament – was also accompanied by Marijana Kovacevic, renowned doctor known most for her work with football stars such as Vincent Kompany, Robin van Persie, Diego Costa and others.
“I can’t go into too much detail, but I am very grateful to her. I also had a lot of treatments all over Melbourne, trying to get to as many experts as possible. Marijana flew across the world to help me, working for her did me good and I can feel the benefits on the court.”
Djokovic is seeking his 10th Australian Open title and his men’s record-equalling 22nd Slam title, while Tsitsipas is looking to win his maiden major.