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Novak Djokovic’s coach: ‘Roger Federer’s surgery came at perfect time’

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The coronavirus pandemic has halted the official tennis tournaments ever since early March, canceling Wimbledon and all other events until August. After Acapulco, Dubai and Santiago at the end of February, the players gathered in Indian Wells ahead of the first Masters 1000 tournament of the season.

Roger Federer

They had to leave California after just a couple of days as the organizers had to cancel the competition, followed by the same move from the Miami Open and all the tournaments scheduled for April, May, June and July. The ATP has decided to freeze the ranking list and keep all the points the players had gathered before Indian Wells and prepare for a fresh start when the virus allows that.

The 38-year-old Roger Federer will remain in the top-4 until then, losing one place on the list to Dominic Thiem after the Australian Open but staying among the world’s best players.

Federer embraced another rock-solid season in 2019, winning four ATP titles in Dubai, Miami, Halle and Basel, defending the place in the top-3 behind Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic and keeping much younger opponents behind him.

Roger extended his record as the oldest Masters 1000 champion in Miami after beating John Isner, playing well on clay after staying away from it in the last three years, reaching the semi-final at Roland Garros and gathering momentum ahead of the grass season.

On his beloved surface, Federer conquered Halle and advanced into the final at beloved Wimbledon, 16 years after the first one! The Swiss squandered two match points against Novak Djokovic, recovering from that setback to claim the title in front of the home crowd in Basel and advancing into the semi-final at the ATP Finals.

Seeking more time on the practice court, Federer skipped the ATP Cup at the beginning of 2020 to prepare for the Australian Open that saw him reaching another semi-final at Majors. Roger struggled with a groin injury in Melbourne and, as we would find out, knee issues that forced him to undergo surgery in February, planning to make a comeback in June for Halle and Wimbledon.

With the grass season closing its doors due to the virus, the Swiss will try to make a comeback at the US Open if the organizers manage to hold it in New York in September, not rushing anything and not signing for any exhibition events so far.

Novak Djokovic’s coach Goran Ivanisevic said that Roger Federer made a perfect timing with that surgery, missing no action and having enough time to recover and start all over if the season resumes according to the plans.

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Novak Djokovic says he regrets his failure to win at the US Open or Roland Garros

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“The US Open disqualification notwithstanding, I have only lost one match all season and I’ve played some of the best tennis of my life”

Novak Djokovic says he regrets the failure to win either the US or French Opens, despite playing some of the best tennis of his life in 2020.

Having won an eighth Australian Open in January, Djokovic was disqualified at the US Open after inadvertently hitting a line judge in the neck with a petulant swipe of the ball during his fourth-round clash with Pablo Carreno Busta.

He was then blown away by world No 2 Rafael Nadal in the final of the re-arranged French Open in October.

Djokovic remains on 17 Grand Slam titles while Nadal and Federer are on 20 each after the Spaniard clinched a record-extending 13th Roland Garros title.

“There is a lingering regret that I didn’t win either the US Open or the Roland Garros this year,” Djokovic told reporters at his tennis academy in downtown Belgrade by the Danube river.

“I was in outstanding form at both events but having reached the French Open final, I was beaten by a player who was much better on the day.

“I was below par and that’s it. As far as the US Open is concerned, I got myself into an unfortunate situation and was disqualified, but I won several other big tournaments.

“The US Open disqualification notwithstanding, I have only lost one match all season and I’ve played some of the best tennis of my life.”

Djokovic dismissed suggestions he was under intense pressure to overhaul Nadal and Federer in their three-way race to become the greatest male player of all time.

“Pressure has been a part of my life for a long time and I’ve learned how to deal with it,” he said.

“It comes with the territory if you are a top-level athlete and it can also galvanise you. You take physical and mental knocks along the way but it’s all part of the learning curve.

“If I retired now I’d be happy with everything I have achieved but I still enjoy competing and every tournament I enter gives me so much motivation and joy.”

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