Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

‘He loves adversity more than anyone’ – Former #1 praises Novak Djokovic drive

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Novak Djokovic relishes fighting through the most difficult circumstances more than any other player according to this multi-Slam champion.

The world number one avenged his US Open final loss to Daniil Medvedev by overcoming the Russian to win the Paris Masters, the Serb’s first event since New York.

His ability to bounce back from such disappointment has been praised by many, including seven-time Slam champion Justine Henin.

“I think that Djokovic is a man who thinks a lot on himself,” Henin explained to Eurosport.

“So he has this ability to analyse what is happening, an ability to accept things and at the same time fight against them.

“I think he’s someone who tries to make sense of things and so he thinks a lot, I believe in this very, very much, and so he works a lot on himself.

“I think he’s a hard worker, too, not just in the sense of saying ‘I’m going to practice, I’m doing what I need to do to be ready’, he’s working on himself, on his person, he’s thinking about it all.

“You can feel that he invests on his personal development as well. And I think that’s something that can help him.”

Djokovic will next take to the court at the ATP Finals in Turin. He will be pushing for a joint-record sixth title there, aiming to equal rival Roger Federer.

He has already secured a new record of a seventh year-end number one crown, surpassing Pete Sampras’ tally of six.

“But above all, Djokovic is driven,” Henin added. “We are all driven, I was and others at higher levels than me, by a competitive spirit.

“We like a challenge, but Djokovic even more: the more difficult it is, the more he is able to show something of himself behind it.

“And so, I think he’s someone who accepts and loves adversity, probably even more than others.

“And that’s his great strength today. He says ‘pressure is a privilege’. He uses it, he needs it. He’s able to cope with it and he’s almost even stronger when it’s most present.

“So that’s what makes him really, really special.”

Novak Djokovic US Open 2021
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