Novak Djokovic said he ‘values’ his success at the Madrid Masters this year over his previous wins in the Spanish capital.
The world number one has endured a tumultuous year due to his decision not to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
That has seen him controversially deported from Australia and forced to play a more limited schedule than usual due to international travel restrictions.
Djokovic is slowly looking more like his old self though, and moved into the Madrid Masters semi-final with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Hubert Hurkacz on Friday.
And, speaking after the match, he was clear about how the events of this year have reshaped his perspective.
“I value it this year more than in previous years because of the circumstances of everything,” Djokovic said.
“Look, I still feel motivated to play and be competitive on court, competing with most of the young guys.
“Obviously there’s a change in generation, but the oldies, we’re still out there. We are guys with experience trying to make them run on the court.
“One thing is for sure, I will definitely play as long as I enjoy it.”
Novak Djokovic will face rising star Carlos Alcaraz in the semi-final for their first ever meeting, but he was very happy with his level against Hurkacz.
Discussing the match, Djokovic said: “In the first set, we both didn’t play so great, there were a lot of unforced errors.
Rock solid 🙌
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) May 6, 2022
“It took us both time to really adjust and adapt to the conditions because it was different from the other days as well. In the second set, there was a better quality of tennis.
“I was serving really well in the second. That really kept me alive. He was serving good too.
“I was pleased with the way I was constructing the point, trying to make him run and overall it was a solid performance. You have to adapt and accept the circumstances and make the most out of them.”
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