Novak Djokovic finds one word to sum up his Ryder Cup experience
The Ryder Cup came to a thrilling conclusion on Sunday for tennis legend Novak Djokovic has admitted he was blown away by the magnitude of the event in Italy.
Europe held off a spirited display from the United States in Sunday’s singles to clinch a memorable 16½-11½ triumph in Rome.
Tommy Fleetwood’s 3&1 win over Rickie Fowler ultimately sealed victory, one which had looked likely since Europe’s 4-0 whitewash in the foursomes on Friday morning.
Djokovic was a big presence at the event as he took part in the pre-tournament All-Star match and then stayed on to watch the action unfold as Europe got off to a flying start.
He was given big cheers from the crowds at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club and admitted he lapped up the unique atmosphere at the event.
“The atmosphere is magical,” he said. “They told me about the Ryder Cup, but I didn’t expect it to be like this. This is one of the best sensations I’ve ever felt in sport.
Djokovic produced some impressive moments as he played out of his comfort zone in golf course in front if huge crowds and he admitted he enjoyed the experience.
“I played much more golf before becoming a parent,” said the 24-time Grand Slam champion.
“The last seven or eight days, I have played five times. I have never had a week that is that intensive in golf.
“I had a couple of lessons as well in a local course back in Serbia, we have a 9-hole course and I was out with a local pro. I liked my golf before the lessons!”
Djokovic also explained how he ended up playing at the Ryder Cup, with a friend who is close to Europe captain Luke Donald opening a door to the appearance.
“My caddie Mark Madden is my business advisor. He lives in Wentworth. He grew up with Luke Donald. Luke and him go back a long way,” he added.
“Luke asked me and I obviously accepted the invite. I was very curious to see the line-up. When I saw it was Gareth Bale and Andrey Shevchenko, who are scratch golfers, I was not sure about being here!”
Djokovic did not stay to watch Europe’s impressive victory over USA and only watched part of the morning session on Friday before he left Italy.
His trip to the Ryder Cup was part of his tennis ‘detox’ after a hectic few months that saw him lose the Wimbledon final against Carlos Alcaraz and then win his 24th Grand Slam title at the US Open in September.
Carlos Alcaraz is looking to chip away at Djokovic’s 3,260 point lead at the top of the ATP rankings, with the Serbian excited by the new challenger who is pushing him to new heights at the age of 36.
“Carlos, I just played him three, four times. Hopefully I’ll play him as many times as I played the other guys. That means that I’ll be playing for years to come, but you know, I doubt that. Let’s see, let’s see how it goes.
“I’ve had a fantastic year. Grand Slams are the ones that count the most for me at this point of my career, they’re the ones where I want to play my best tennis. This year, [winning] three out of four Slams and another final, I couldn’t ask for more.”
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