The first big match of the year is just one hour away. Every tennis fan seems anxious and grasped by anticipation. Long time Novak fans are soaked up in expectations as their favourite player is just one match away from creating history. Every fan is worried about perfecting their superstitions, willing to do everything they can to make sure their ‘Nole’ wins this match.
But amidst all this anticipation and chaos, what is going in the mind of the man himself, Novak Djokovic.
A man who loves nature and whole-heartedly practices yoga, tension seems to be a small issue, however, with so much on the line and at an arena where you have had most success, expectations are soaring and tension seems to creep in.
Add to that an opponent with whom you have had a good friendship and an incredible history, and the emotional meter shoots up to an all-time high.
Novak has been in incredible form for over an year. In his semi-finals match against Roger Federer at the Rod Laver arena this year, Novak produced some impeccable tennis in the first two sets. With a positive head to head record against his top 3 rivals, Novak is reaching for the stars.
But coming into the finals, everything seems to change. The stadium is filling up, fans are singing their songs, the loud Aussie crowd is preparing themselves for a spectacle as you read this article. In contrast, Novak must be in some isolated room at the Melbourne park, performing his pre-match rituals. This is the beauty of tennis, we, the fans are allowed to get excited and frenzy, as the men who bring us these most amazing of matches are sitting quietly preparing their tactics and strategies, building their thoughts over what lies ahead.
The tennis aspect of the game is known to both the players. Novak knows Andy’s game as much as Andy knows Novak’s game. Novak had the following to say about this:
“ It’s no secret we know how we play against each other. It’s two games that are very much alike, so it’s basically who’s going to outplay who from the baseline. I think serve is an important factor in tomorrow’s match. I think both of us will try to serve a high percentage of first serves and not allow the other player attack the second serve too many times.
As I said, we have very similar styles of game and very similar trajectory to the professional tennis, so it’s nice to see that our rivalry keeps on going and we keep playing for the biggest titles.”
With two of the best returners in the game facing off against one another, return of serve is going to be key factor as well.
Head to head battle suggest a straight-forward victory for Novak, but in tennis, as in life, anything can happen.