Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic, winners of the Australian Open 202, might be the current face of the “Gen Next v Old Guard” tussle in women’s and men’s tennis, but they’ve walked a similar path leading up to the title.
Both had their career low’s at different points in the year 2020. They have also witnessed profound experiences during that phase. Being a true sportsman, they put their last year’s challenges behind and begin the new season as champions.
Djokovic’s struggle in 2020
Djokovic began 2020 by winning 26 matches on the trot with titles at the ATP Cup, Australian Open and ATP 500 Dubai Open before the break and ATP Western and Southern Open after it.
Djokovic was dramatically disqualified after his swipe at a ball in frustration at the end of a point accidentally hit a lines judge.
“This whole situation has left me really sad and empty,” the Serb wrote in an emotional social media post.
“I need to go back within and work on my disappointment and turn this all into a lesson for my growth and evolution as a player and human being”
In the heat of the battle, Djokovic had broken racquets, vented his frustration to the crowd and argued with umpires, but had never been defaulted.
And as a result it played its part—Djokovic failed to win three of the next four tournaments.
The man who couldn’t lose a tournament at the start of 2020 couldn’t win any of the three to end it.
The unbeatable now seem to be broken.
Then three months later, Djokovic was there in Melbourne to win the Slam.
A 14-day quarantine and an abdominal injury midway was already there to stop him, but even after all of this Djokovic became Australian Open champion for a record-extending ninth time.
“Emotionally (this) was one of hardest tournaments I had, to be honest, with quarantine and a lot of things happening in the media,” the Serb said after his win on Sunday.
After battling all the odds, the Serb won the hearts of all his fans. He not only defeated his rival players but also won against the odd situations that was laid infront of him.