Skip to main content

'Novak Djokovic can play ten sets if he needs to - never write him off,' says former ATP star

'Novak Djokovic will fight until the end - he can play ten sets if he needs to...' - We could happily watch him play for ten sets too.
Novak Djokovic on the Wimbledon turf

Mark Philippoussis has paid tribute to Novak Djokovic after his sensational Wimbledon comeback victory over Jannik Sinner in the quarterfinals.

Djokovic looked to be struggling when he lost the first two sets, and his nine-year unbeaten record on Centre Court looked in serious peril.

However, he was able to reset himself, dig deep, and slowly assert his dominance on the Italian before winning the deciding set.

For Philippoussis, though, it was classic Djokovic.

"Never write Novak off," Philippoussis told SportKlub. "We all know that he will fight until the end, and when he was losing 2-1, it was almost as if it felt like it was 2-2 in sets, that's how it is with Djokovic at the Slams.

"You always know he has enough energy and fuel in the tank and you know you're not going to win the match there - he can play ten sets if he needs to.

"That's why Sinner should have pressed harder at 2-0, or should have been more concentrated at the start of the fourth attempt, but it's not easy against Novak.

"He puts the opponents under enormous pressure - he is always present, moves incredibly and forces the opponent to always play an extra good shot. Then you shoot harder and closer to the line, and the misses come.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

RELATED: COMMENT: Novak Djokovic has made extraordinary the expectation, and it is truly special

"He was a slight favourite for me even before the tournament, that's still the case. I expect him to be fresh for the semi-finals."

Novak Djokovic may have been too strong for him on the day, but Mark Philippoussis also reserved some praise for Jannik Sinner.

The young Italian put Djokovic under some real pressure and it was perhaps just a lack of experience that ultimately cost him.

"Novak was a bit slow [at the start], but Sinner is dangerous," said Philippoussis. "He has strong and powerful shots, and he had nothing to lose, so he played relaxed.

"He came out on the court very inspired, but in the end Djokovic was too tough for him. Even at the end of the match, he seemed fresh to me."

Please follow Tennisbuzz on Twitter and Instagram, and you can like us on Facebook by clicking here.

For more exclusive content from Tennisbuzz, including news, features, trivia, promotions and more, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter below or via our home page.

Why not test your tennis knowledge by tackling one of our fiendish quizzes too?