He doesn't really care, Mats Wilander shrugs off concerns over Novak Djokovic's poor form

March 22, 2024
Mats Wilander has brushed off any notion of worry about 24-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic's form after the world No.1

Former Swedish tennis player Mats Wilander has brushed off any notion of worry about 24-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic’s form after the world No.1 was stunned by lucky loser Luca Nardi in the third round of Indian Wells.

The 20-year-old Italian, Luca Nardi, who entered the Paribas Open main draw as a lucky loser, stunned the World No.1 Djokovic in 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in two hours and 17 minutes in the third round.

At No.123 in the world, Nardi became the lowest-ranked player to beat Djokovic at the Masters 1000 or Grand Slam level, as the Serbian suffered his third loss of the season following defeats to Alex de Minaur at the United Cup and Jannik Sinner in the Australian Open semifinals.

“Novak Djokovic doesn’t really care when he loses in the smaller tournaments,” Wilander told Eurosport. “I mean, he would like to win every tournament, he’d like to win every match. But I do think that sometimes these days he goes on a trip just to test himself.

“‘How good has my practice been back home?’ or wherever he’s been practicing, and then he gets to a tournament and he’s playing the other pros, the best players in the world, and he realises after he wins a round or two or three or whatever the result is, I think he realises, ‘oh okay, I’m close enough, I don’t need to be any better at this particular moment’.

Djokovic saw his 11-match winning streak at ATP Masters 1000s snapped following his title runs in Cincinnati and Paris. Wilander emphasising off-season for Djokovic said that the Serbian will be at his best in the French Open. “‘The French Open is two months away and that’s when I need to be at my best for the French, for Wimbledon’, and then you push through and hope for the Olympics.

Djokovic pulled back his name from the Miami Open stating on X, “At this stage of my career, I’m balancing my private and professional schedule”. “But right now, in terms of competition, it is a little bit of an off-season. It would be great to win the Sunshine Double again for Novak Djokovic, but he’s not even playing in Miami.

“So basically, it’s a (case of) getting a couple of matches, understand that he’s very close, ‘I’m going to go home, I’m going to practice again and then I’ll be ready for the next match’.

“But I’m not worried. I was always worried about Novak winning too much and I think the last few years he hasn’t won too much on tour, which is why he’s winning so many Grand Slam tournaments because he’s fresh. I don’t think it matters.

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