Before facing off in the second round of round-robin play at the 2010 ATP Finals in London, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal both had a winning start. Nadal defeated Djokovic 7-5, 6-2 after 1 hour, 52 minutes to keep his record spotless and inch closer to the semifinals.
Due to inflammation in his right eye, which distracted him and caused him to struggle for the remainder of the match, Novak remained competitive until the first set score was tied at 5-5 before falling behind. In game eight, Djokovic‘s eye started to bother him. He used a medical timeout to address the issue and resume play.
Despite switching contacts a few times, playing all-or-nothing shots late in the game, and failing to defeat such a formidable foe, he was still unable to enhance his vision. At response to what transpired against Nadal in such a significant competition, Novak claimed during the match that he had never encountered something similar in his professional career.
The Serbian also brought up the referees, who did not want to allow him more time to find a solution and carry on with the game in a competitive spirit. In his 16th triumph over Djokovic in 23 encounters, Nadal delivered four breaks and saved four of five break points.
They exchanged breaks at 2-2 in the first set and remained even through Novak’s evident troubles in the following four games. After 75 minutes, Nadal broke the tie at 5-5 and escaped three break points in the deciding game.
Three break point possibilities were negated by Nadal, who eventually won it after 75 minutes had passed. Before the second set, Novak tried to correct the eye issues, but as he lost serve in games one and three to fall further behind, it just became worse.
This year, Djokovic has won two championships.
In an interview with our Tennis365 colleagues on the occasion of the release of his documentary, in which he specifically disclosed that Donald Trump had made him an inappropriate challenge to Serena Williams, John McEnroe went back to Novak Djokovic‘s exceptionally special season and in particular to his unconventional mind.
“Novak has class; he didn’t get the praise he deserves. Although I disagree with his choice to forgo vaccination, I appreciate her option. He is one of the fittest men in the world, and he pays meticulous attention to everything he takes into his body.
It’s sad that he found himself in a circumstance where he was a railway disaster victim. A complete failure. Are you kidding me, to the extent that he was expelled from Australia? I admire him even more for moving past those things because of how terrible it all turned out.
He has to be the mentally toughest tennis player I have ever observed. Although (Rafael) Nadal is a beast of an athlete, Djokovic is a phenomenal mental player. What he can handle and yet perform at this incredible level.”