Former Indian tennis player Somdev Devvarman admitted he stood no chance against Novak Djokovic in their lone meeting. Back in 2013 at the Miami Masters, Devvarman suffered a 6-2 6-4 loss to Djokovic. “I was at a delicate point in my career.
But the truth is it wouldn’t have mattered. Regardless of how tired I was, how fresh I was. Novak was playing a completely different level,” Devvarman told Moneycontrol over phone from Chennai. “His serve was a lot better than I had expected,” Devvarman said, echoing the words of Jack Draper, Djokovic’s first round opponent at this year’s Wimbledon, where he collected his 20th major on Sunday.
“Going into the match, we [Devvarman and his coach] talked a lot about his return game, how good he was from the corners, how well he counterpunched. But one of those things that really stood out to me when I was on the other side of the net was how effectively he served”.
Devvarman was impressed by Djokovic's flexibility and the ability to get the ball. “There are plenty of times when he looks like he is not gonna get there [to the ball], or get there but give you something you can attack,” he said.
“But from the corners, from out of position, he’d find a way to stay on balance and find a way to hurt you, not just put the ball back in. That ability of his is the best I have seen from any player to ever play the game”.
Devvarman says hard work paid off for Djkovic
“Obviously it’s practice,” Devvarman says. “He’s worked on his game religiously since he was a little kid. He’s also one of those guys who works on areas of his life and his health perhaps a bit more scientifically and diligently than some of his peers.
I think the guy does everything he can do to get that little bit of an extra edge. And it shows. “Early on in his career he’d hire people just to help with his serve. So he had serving coaches, which was very strange for a guy who was world No 2 or 3.
But he did it because he looks for that edge. Later on the big change happened when he went from eating gluten to not eating gluten”. On Sunday, Djokovic beat Matteo Berrettini in the Wimbledon final to lift his 20th Grand Slam title.