WATCH: Raw emotion from ‘superhuman’ Novak Djokovic after he returns to his perch in Australia
There were tears of joy and relief for Novak Djokovic after he won a 10th Australian Open crown and 22nd Grand Slam title at Melbourne Park on Sunday.
After a rollercoaster 2022 season that saw him miss the season-opening Grand Slam after being deported from Australia, Djokovic went on to win five titles last year – including Wimbledon – although he also missed the US Open due to his unvaccinated status.
But the stress of the up and down season certainly took its toll mentally and it was always felt that he had a score to settle in Australia.
Djokovic was back to his best at his favourite hunting ground over the past few weeks as he started the year by winning the Adelaide International and followed it up with a 10th Australian Open title.
It has been memorable fortnight for Djokovic as he dropped only one set – although he also had struggles both on and off the court as he battled with a hamstring injury throughout the tournament while his father Srdjan Djokovic also got unwittingly caught up in pro-Russian demonstrations earlier in the week.
But once he steamrolled Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5), the relief was clear for all to see.
He immediately ran over to his player’s box to celebrate with his coaching team and after the hugs were out of the way he collapsed and started crying.
After letting out some emotion with a loud scream, he returned to his seat and once again started sobbing under the towel.
Overcome with emotion! 😭
Novak Djokovic breaks down into tears after his historic 10th Australian Open title. 🏆
What a moment. What a release. What a night for one of the greatest to ever grace a tennis court. 👏🏆
🖥️ #AusOpen | https://t.co/KfWgfBbqFo#9WWOS #Tennis pic.twitter.com/lIZYxXfmv8
— Wide World of Sports (@wwos) January 29, 2023
Djokovic will return to No 1 in the ATP Rankings on Monday and Sunday’s title saw him draw level with Rafael Nadal on 22 Grand Slams.
Former world No 1 Mats Wilander shared his thoughts on the “hard as nails” Djokovic’s latest win as well as the tears that started to flow after the match.
“The emotional effort that must go into winning 22 Grand Slams, I can’t relate to the feeling or emotions he has after winning a Grand Slam. It’s a time when you’re happy and smiling and that’s why he’s got 22, because he’s so emotionally invested the whole time,” he said on Eurosport.
“I don’t think 19 or 20 would’ve made the difference but 22 and being No 1 in the world again. How many tournaments did he play last year, 11 in 12 months? And he’s still number one so he is dominating.
“I don’t think we can relate it, certainly us normal players. I never felt that kind of emotion in any match or tournament, but he is winning 22 Slams and that is probably the main reason. He is involved, engaged, the whole time.
“If he has to deal with the stuff we do, he is superhuman and it makes for great TV. But I think his strength is not dealing with any of it, except playing tennis, Then, at the end of it, the tears come out but he is as hard as nails during the two weeks.”
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