‘Second Service’ tennis news: Novak Djokovic free to compete at Australian Open, Rafael Nadal dismisses decline talk
Looking back on the big tennis news in our exclusive ‘Second Service’… Novak Djokovic is confirmed for the 2023 Australian Open as Nadal dismissed decline talk after a string of poor results, and more.
To start this tennis news roundup, reports that Novak Djokovic will be free to compete at the Australian Open in January have been confirmed by the man himself.
“In terms of your next question related to Australia, yes I received the news yesterday morning and I was very, very happy to hear that news,” Djokovic said after beating Andrey Rublev to secure his place in the ATP Finals semis.
“It has been a tough year with everything that happened, obviously, in Australia for me and for the people who are close in my life.
In other tennis news, Rafael Nadal says he is not concerned his recent poor form is indicative of the start of a decline.
Nadal lost to Felix Auger-Aliassime at the ATP Finals in Turin to extend his losing streak to four matches.
The defeat followed losses to Frances Tiafoe at the US Open, Tommy Paul at the Paris Masters, and Taylor Fritz in his first round robin stage match in Turin.
“I don’t think I forgot how to play tennis, how to be strong enough mentally,” Nadal said after the match. “I just need to recover all these positive feelings and all this confidence and all this strong mentality that I need to be at the level that I want to be.
Furthermore, Andy Murray says he has a ‘busy schedule’ planned for 2023 that should see him return to clay court tennis.
Murray decided to skip most of the clay season this year as he feared it could put too much pressure on his surgically repaired hip.
That is a position he has apparently reconsidered, though, after he referred to clay while revealing the first half of his 2023 schedule.
“I’ve got a pretty busy schedule planned,” Murray told Hello Magazine. “I’ll be kicking off the year in Australia which I always really enjoy. I’ll be playing a tournament out there, and then the Australian Open.
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