Novak Djokovic clinched his seventh Wimbledon title and 21st Major overall after beating Nick Kyrgios 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(3) in Sunday’s final.
After the Serb clinched his first Major in a year, his coach Goran Ivanisevic spoke to the media, pointing out how his ward managed to overcome the visa debacle in Australia and re-emerge as a Grand Slam champion.
The Croat believes the hardships and ill-treated Djokovic faced Down Under would have prompted some players to hang up their rackets.
“Some people would never play tennis again if they had to live through what Novak did in Australia,” Ivanisevic said, adding, “It’s heroic.”
The 21-time Major champion entered Australia armed with a medical exemption which was meant to act as a buffer for his unvaccinated status. However, the Australian government seemingly refused to acknowledge the exemption and went on to detain Djokovic for several days in unsuitable conditions.
He was eventually deported from the country and was handed a multi-year ban from applying for a visa to the country.
2001 Wimbledon champion Ivanisevic explained that his ward needed a bit of time to regain his mojo after the events in Australia. He reckons Djokovic should have won the French Open, where he believes the Serb was a bigger favorite than Rafael Nadal.
“It is very emotional,” Ivanisevic said. “Shit year, tough year… It took him a while to find his form after Australia lost to Rafa at RG… For me, he was the favorite, but you still needs to win. He is at 21 and really deserves it.”
Ordinarily, the US Open would have been the next Slam for the Serb. But the Joe Biden-led nation has a strict no-entry policy for unvaccinated travelers, meaning Djokovic will not be permitted to enter the USA as things stand.
Ivanisevic expressed hope for Biden to change the rules in the coming weeks but accepted that there is not much one can do about the situation but hope.
“I am going on vacation, I don’t know until when,” Ivanisevic said. “Maybe Biden changes his mind. Maybe not. If we go to the States, it’s going to be beautiful. If not, what are you going to do. Anything can happen, or not happen.”
“Nick Kyrgios is a tennis genius” – Novak Djokovic’s coach Goran Ivanisevic
During the interaction, Goran Ivanisevic heaped rich praise on Nick Kyrgios. He reckons the Aussie is a “tennis genius” who owns the “best serve in the world.”
“You cannot prepare for Nick Kyrgios,” the Serb’s coach said. “Nick Kyrgios is a tennis genius. We focused on what Novak needs to do. Kyrgios is unpredictable, by far the best serve in the world.”