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The quotes of 2022, episode 15 – Djokovic and the secret of his locker room breaks

To end 2022, Tennis Majors offers you a review, in chronological order and in a series format, of the year’s outstanding, inspiring or funny quotes. Episode 15, Novak Djokovic talks to himself in the mirror

Novak Djokovic Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon in 2022 (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

“Mirror, mirror, on the wall – who is the fairest of them all?”

In the quarter-finals of Wimbledon, on the road to his 21st Grand Slam title, Novak Djokovic was struggling. Down two sets to love at the hands of Jannik Sinner, the Serbian needed to get his mind right by taking a short locker-room break, before winning 5-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

“It was just a pep talk, positive talk,” Djokovic said afterwards. “As negative and down you feel on yourself in those moments, even though as fake as it looks or sounds to you, it really gives you an effect and support if you are trying to find the right and positive affirmations and tell it to yourself and kind of reanimate yourself in a way.

“So that’s what I have done. I’ve done that after I lost two sets in the finals of Roland Garros against Tsitsipas, and today it worked. It doesn’t always work. It’s not a guarantee it will always work.

“But I just felt like I had to change something. I was not playing well, I was not feeling well on the court, I was dominated by Sinner.

“Thankfully Grand Slams are played in best-of-five, so I had opportunity to come back.”

The years pass, but on the grass of the All England Club, Djokovic remains dominant: he has now won the last four editions.

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