Novak Djokovic believes his extended however self-inflicted absences in 2022 make him much more “super-pumped and motivated” to complete a yr which began with the ignominy of deportation from Australia on a excessive.
The 35-year-old swept back-to-back titles when he comfortably defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-4 within the Astana remaining on Sunday, every week after securing the Tel Aviv trophy.
“I couldn’t ask for a greater restart of the season. I am super-pumped and motivated to finish the season in addition to I’ve performed these previous couple of weeks,” stated the previous world primary.
Djokovic now has 4 titles from simply 10 occasions this season following victories in Rome and at Wimbledon.
His win within the Italian capital in Could gave him a thirty eighth Masters; his Wimbledon triumph in July then equalled Pete Sampras’s mark of seven on the All England Membership and took him to 21 Grand Slams.
Solely Rafael Nadal, with 22, has extra males’s majors.
All this in a yr which noticed him booted out of Melbourne and banned from travelling to North America over his continued refusal to be vaccinated.
Except the Laver Cup in London, which doubled up as Roger Federer’s farewell, Djokovic did not play for the very best a part of three months after Wimbledon.
His “restart” in Israel got here 16 years after he final performed within the nation.
Djokovic’s willpower to not waver over his vaccination stance meant he missed two of the yr’s 4 Slams, on the Australian and US Opens, and 4 of eight Masters in Indian Wells, Miami, Montreal and Cincinnati.
Nevertheless, his win in Kazakhstan on Sunday allowed him to ebook a spot within the ATP Finals for a fifteenth time — solely Federer (18) and Jimmy Connors and Nadal (16 every) have reached the season-ending showpiece on extra events.
When the occasion takes place in Turin in November, the Serb will try to attract degree with Federer as a six-time winner, having been topped champion in 2008 and yearly from 2012-15.
Earlier than then, Djokovic, the one man to have received all Masters titles twice, will defend his Paris Masters crown.
“I am simply very grateful and blessed to have the ability to play this properly at this stage of my life,” Djokovic stated on Sunday. “You recognize, 35 isn’t 25.”
When his roller-coaster yr ends, Djokovic will hope he’ll be capable to fly to Melbourne and declare a tenth Australian Open regardless of the cancellation of his visa in January triggering a three-year ban on returning.
The indicators are encouraging.
“We’re heading in the right direction to win again all the highest gamers,” Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley informed The Australian newspaper final week.
“We’re in a unique time than 9 months in the past, and I feel the setting has utterly modified. Persons are transferring freely all over the world once more, and we hope to have the very best gamers right here in January.”
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