Can you hear me now? Novak says 'No'

Serbian is into record-breaking 77th ATP Masters 1000 semi-final
April 12, 2024
Novak Djokovic is chasing his third title at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.
Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour
Novak Djokovic is chasing his third title at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. By ATP Staff

Novak Djokovic’s mental fortitude is one of the best not just on the ATP Tour, but in all of sports. And when the top seed at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters is in the zone filtering out all noises irrelevant to the task at hand, it may be hard to get his attention.

“I don't really hear — as strange as it sounds — but I'm completely in a kind of a zone where I don't hear the ball sound, the ball strike because of the grunts, because of whatever,” Djokovic said in a press conference Friday.

The seven-time Nitto ATP Finals champion was responding to a question about his late friend Kobe Bryant’s comments that he was addicted to the sound of making buckets.

"There is more than one thing to add to what Kobe was saying about the sound of the bucket,” Djokovic said. “For [tennis players] it's the sound of the shot, sound of the ball where of course in some tournaments where you have a better echo. But it sounds even more loud when you strike the ball cleanly. But it's interesting because I only enjoy that when I am watching the videos of my matches or I'm watching some other matches. I don't enjoy it while I play."

The World No. 1 in the PIF ATP Rankings was forced to dial-in Friday in the Principality, where he earned a hard-fought win against Alex de Minaur, who joked about the ugliness of their 7-5, 6-4 quarter-final match as they embraced at the net.

You May Also Like: Djokovic battles to hard-fought Demon win in Monte-Carlo

The second set alone consisted of seven breaks of serve and the top seed committed 26 unforced errors to half as many winners.

“Most of the second set was quite ugly, as [De Minaur] said,” Djokovic added. “I don't think we played such beautiful tennis in the second set. Sometimes you just have to find a way to win. Today that was the case.”

Despite the victory not being the most flamboyant, the two-time Monte-Carlo champion (2013, 2015), Djokovic made more history Friday by surpassing rival Rafael Nadal for most ATP Masters 1000 semi-final appearances (77).

The Official App Of Tennis | Download ATP WTA Live App

Earlier this week, the 36-year-old became the oldest No. 1 in PIF ATP Rankings history and now into the last four in Monte-Carlo, Djokovic is two matches from completing his third sweep of all nine ATP Masters 1000 titles.

Even after holding the top spot in the PIF ATP Rankings for 420 weeks and winning nearly everything the sport has to offer, Djokovic still feels nerves when he takes the court.

“I enjoy the thrill of the butterflies before the match. Regardless of the fact that I played so many matches in my life, I still feel that nervous sensations but also the excitement of walking out on the court,” Djokovic said. “There is some beauty in the unpredictability of what's going to happen next. Nobody knows who's going to win.”

Read More News View All News

View Related Videos View All Videos


Get it on Google Play Download on the App Store

Premier Partner

Platinum Partners

Gold Partners

Official Ball, Racquet and Tennis Accessory

Official Partners & Suppliers