Novak Djokovic is only going to get “even better”, according to his coach Goran Ivanisevic.
At the age of 35, the 21-time Grand Slam champion broke the record for the oldest champion in tournament history when he clinched the Nitto ATP Finals trophy for the sixth time on Sunday, equalling the record held by Roger Federer in the process.
Casper Ruud was no match for him, as Djokovic clinched the trophy with a comfortable 7-5 6-3 victory in Turin.
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It was the perfect way for Djokovic to sign off what was an usual year after he missed out on the Australian Open and US Open due to his unvaccinated Covid-19 status.
“He's practising even harder than when he was 22,” said Ivanisevic, per ATPTour.com.
“That's why he's still so good and that's why he's still going to be even better.
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“The will to practice, the will to improve, the will to be better is amazing. He's taking care of his body.
“In my time we stopped tennis [aged] 30, 31. You were already [an] old guy ready to leave. But now [it is] unbelievable.
“Look at Roger couple years back. Look at Rafa [Nadal]. Look at him. They all talk about, yes, young players are coming. It's great for the tennis….You have [the] youngest No. 1 in the world who made unbelievable things this year, Carlos [Alcaraz].
“But look at Novak. He's still hungry, he's still winning the tournaments, playing unbelievable tennis. He's still already thinking now about preparation for next season.
“He's [a] guy who wants to improve all the time. He's taking care of his body. Look at how he moves on the court, slides. He's amazing.
“It's always something that now the world offers you to be better, to improve. I think in that case players are playing in much older age, and they're playing well. Maybe some of them, they're playing best tennis. They're looking unbelievable.”
Djokovic’s all-round game was excellent against Ruud, but it was his dominant serve that was most impressive on Sunday.
And Ivanisevic believes it’s a part of his game that goes largely unnoticed.
“His serve was [a] very underestimated shot all through [his] career,” Ivanisevic said.
“If you look so many matches, five, 10 years ago, his serve always saved him somehow.
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“But now he's even better. Now he always wants to improve. Especially this week, amazing percentage, amazing precision of the serve. Every time he needed, he hit [an] unbelievable first serve. His second serve is much better.
“But his serve is one of the best shots which people, they don't talk [about], because they have so many other things, they forget to talk about his serve. He has one of the best serves.
“Especially when it's tight, it's tough, especially this week he was hitting unbelievable serve under pressure.”
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