Novak Djokovic Australian Open 2022

Novak Djokovic ‘weakness’ explained by former ATP stalwart

Gilles Simon has criticised the top talent in the ATP for the way they play against Novak Djokovic, accusing them of making it too easy for him.

Simon retired this year after a long ATP career, and he is one of the most outspoken personalities in tennis.

He has been a critic of Roger Federer before, claiming he held back tennis for 20 years, and he has not turned his criticism on other ATP stars – with the tactics they use against Djokovic his main complaint.

“What I don’t understand when I watch Novak Djokovic’s matches is why his opponents don’t prey on his weaknesses,” Simon told the Court Number one Podcast on RMC.

“The Serbian is not that strong near the net and almost always gets into trouble when he has to smash. Sometimes he misses it, while other times he hits it at two [miles] an hour.

“We have had 20 years to notice this! I saw the match between Djokovic and [Stefanos] Tsitsipas in Bercy, where it was a couple of points that made the difference.

“If the Greek had played the decisive points in another way, maybe he would have won. If you force your rival to play in areas of the court he doesn’t like, he will make more mistakes and lose confidence even in his strong areas.

“It surprises me that you can get your tactics wrong against players you’ve seen play a million times!”

One small observation here is that it can’t be that easy to exploit any weaknesses that Novak Djokovic might have, as Gilles Simon played him 12 times in his career and lost 11 of them.

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.