Novak Djokovic says there was ‘nothing positive’ in his game before Wimbledon comeback
Novak Djokovic described his match with Jannik Sinner as two separate battles after recovering from two sets to love down against the young Italian at Wimbledon on Tuesday.
The six-time Wimbledon champion was approaching the precipice of losing his first match at SW19 for five years after the 20-year-old went 7-5, 6-2 up on him on Centre Court.
But a bathroom break and pep talk later and the triple defending champion was good as new before he came back to win in five sets and reach an 11th Wimbledon semi-final.
In his post-match press conference, Djokovic admitted that he was completely out of sorts while losing the opening two sets.
He said: “I started doubting my shots. He started believing in himself more. He just had a better mentality on the court I guess.
“He had confidence to step in and dictate the play. I was too passive, and it happens, so I was really in a defence mode, to be honest. [There was] just not much positive happening for me in terms of my game.”
Djokovic explained that his positivity came from within himself, describing his personal pep talk in a little more detail. He also included how he has used the technique before.
“There was no aggression there,” he said. “It really gives you an effect and support if you are trying to, you know, find the right and positive affirmations and tell it to yourself and kind of reanimate yourself in a way.
“So that’s what I have done. I did it after I lost the first two sets in the final of Roland Garros against [Stefsnos] Tsitsipas.
“It doesn’t always work. It’s not a guarantee it will always work.”
However, just as it worked for him to win a 19th Major title in Paris last year, it worked to keep him in pursuit of a 21st at this year’s Wimbledon.
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