Djokovic leaves no stone unturned in pursuit of perfection, but secrecy with drink mixture draws scrutiny
Novak Djokovic, 32, was not present at the Australian Open final in which he and Rafael Nadal had battled to a four-sets-to-two-sets tiebreak in one of the sport’s most thrilling nights. There was a small issue however: while Djokovic did not attend the event, he was pictured at the media centre watching the match from the grandstand.
Just before the final, Djokovic took to Twitter to praise his two-time defending champion – who he called, simply, “the best”.
Nadal, a champion, is seen as a figure of the game, but his status has been questioned of late. A spate of bad luck for the Serbian, who has lost three of his four Grand Slam finals, has prompted questions over his mental fortitude and his ability to cope with the stresses of winning on the biggest of stages.
What is certain is that Nadal, unlike Djokovic, has never been accused of putting his head in the sand. A champion who has been close to winning a grand slam for 20 years, he is seen as an inspiration by many and a role model by many others. His presence at the Australian Open means that the sport is facing a new problem: how to integrate two highly different personalities into one tournament.
At the start of this year Nadal revealed he was “unhappy” with how his performances have been viewed – and it was his publicist who announced he would not be attending the Australian Open. The man who is a role model for millions of young girls and whose victory in the 2008 Beijing Olympics sparked a surge in global interest around the sport, was being painted as someone who was out of touch by the media and fans. His silence would not be tolerated.
Djokovic meanwhile, has won his first Australian Open title since he defeated Nov