“I hate how media will always create controversy and takes things out of context” – De Minaur miffed at media after Djokovic comments
Alex de Minaur said nothing but positive things about Novak Djokovic after losing to the nine-time Australian Open champion on Monday. But some in the media saw it differently.
He was supposed to be a wounded animal – vulnerable even. But the Novak Djokovic that Alex de Minaur rubbed elbows with on Sunday night in Melbourne was an absolute menace and it showed in the lopsided scoreline – 6-2, 6-1, 6-2.
It was enough to leave very little doubt in the Australian’s mind that Novak Djokovic is headed for a tenth Australian Open title.
Has he ever seen Djokovic look better?
“I don’t think I have, if I’m completely honest,” De Minaur told reporters. “I think what I experienced today was probably Novak very close to his best, I would say.
“To me, if that’s the level, I think he’s definitely the guy that’s going to take the title.”
Movement looks fine, and so is Djokovic’s ability to mask any issues
Whether Djokovic is out of the woods with regard to the injury remains to be seen, but the Djokovic that De Minaur witnessed across the net on Day 8 is one that is looking very close to the peak Djokovic we’re used to seeing in Melbourne.
Apparently some of De Minaur’s comments were misrepresented in the media (see his tweeted response to that above), but there wasn’t much to criticize in the Australian’s words.
“I think everyone’s kind of seeing what’s been happening over the couple weeks,” De Minaur said. “It’s the only thing everyone’s been talking about. Today I was out there on court against him… Either I’m not a good enough tennis player to expose that or … it looked good to me. He was just too good in all aspects.
“The feeling I’ve got just walking off the court is that I played a pretty high-level Novak, which I feel like if he has that level, he will win another title here. That’s my thoughts.”
No teeth in the match
De Minaur said that his gameplan was to make Djokovic move. Like the rest of the world, he had been paying attention to Djokovic’s struggles with the hamstring, and the many times that the 21-time major champion has pulled up in pain on court across his first three matches.
But there was a wrinkle. Djokovic was too on top of the ball to give De Minaur a chance to control any of the rallies. Instead the Aussie stood by while Djokovic dictated and dominated – from start to finish.
“I think what makes Novak Novak at the end of the day is how solid he is,” De Minaur said. “His movement, his end-range gets, what he’s able to do with that, the depth he’s able to keep. It just felt like constant pressure today.
“Every service game I had, wasn’t getting free points. It felt like an uphill battle from the start. Never really was able to get my teeth into the match, make it tough for him, or bring the pressure moments and situations.”
“I didn’t know what to do out there”
Djokovic himself said that he was thrilled to feel the best he has all tournament on Monday night in Melbourne.
“I’m really glad that my body has responded really well,” he said. “Tonight I didn’t feel any pain. I moved as well as I have the whole tournament. It means we are progressing in the right direction.”
A healthy Djokovic spelled disaster for the man they call the demon.
“It felt like he could hit winners from every place in the court,” the Aussie said. ” I Didn’t really know what to do out there.”