January 31, 2013 by Parveer Mann
He has faded under pressure early in his career. He has had a flare for comic hijinks. He was nearly unstoppable in 2011. He has emerged under the shadow of two of the most transcedent stars of any generation to become a legend in his own right. You would not be wrong to suggest that Novak Djokovic has become the model of what a tennis player should be.
In defeating Andy Murray to capture his third consecutive Australian Open title, Novak Djokovic has continued to earn the respect of fans and players alike. Known early in his career for untimely collapses and comedy, he has become the unflappable model citizen in the men’s game. He now seems to grow stronger in the face of adversity or match points as seen in his famous duels with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. During this Australian Open, Djokovic overcame a tough fourth round challenge against Stanislas Wawrinka and seemed stronger for it the rest of the tournament.
The change for Novak gradually began as he started to make slight changes to an already successful career. He famously adopted a gluten-free diet, became more fit and worked on becoming the best returner in the game. Along with maturation and mental resiliency, he has won five Grand Slam titles since 2011 and is the current World number one.
He is a huge celebrity and icon in his native Serbia and with over 1.5 million Twitter followers his appeal crosses the planet. Fellow players on tour have noticed this transformation and his influence in the game has grown exponentially. Once known for impersonations and raw talent, Djokovic is now a great champion who has earned his cult of personality.
We say farewell to the 2013 Australian Open and Melbourne but alas the 2013 tennis journey continues. I leave you with highlights of the 2013 Australian Open courtesy of the official Australian Open Youtube channel.
Feel free to share your thoughts and favourite moments from this year’s Australian Open in the comments section below.