‘If I could steal anything from an opponent, it would be the Novak Djokovic return,’ says Italian

Lorenzo Sonego says Novak Djokovic has the most coveted weapon in tennis with his serve return, despite Roger Federer being his idol. 

Sonego stunned Djokovic at the Vienna Open last month, defeating the world number one 6-2, 6-1 as a lucky loser en-route to the final, where he lost to Andrey Rublev.

It was the first time Sonego had ever faced Djokovic, and he was sufficiently impressed to want to emulate a part of his game.

“My idols? It has always been Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga,” Sonego told Corriere dello Sport.

“If I could steal something from an opponent, however, I would choose Djokovic’s return. ”

Djokovic was highly complimentary to Sonego in the press and gracious in defeat after their Vienna meeting, and the Italian says that extended to their personal conversations too.

“He complimented me [after the match], but we didn’t talk much. I was also pleased with Ivanisevic’s compliments.

“Had I played against anyone else, I would have done it with the same determination ”

“I was not distracted by the names of my opponents, nor by what was happening off the pitch.

“Of course, I never expected to reach the final as a lucky loser.

“I had good sensations and I felt improved, but it’s always difficult to win games with such strong players. It went well.”

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