Djokovic 'Doesn't Care When He Loses In Smaller Tournaments' According To Wilander

Djokovic 'Doesn't Care When He Loses In Smaller Tournaments' According To Wilander

by Zachary Wimer

Novak Djokovic lost early at the 2024 Indian Wells Open, but Eurosport analyst Mats Wilander says he won't be troubled by that.

Wilander was a successful tennis player himself, having reached the world no. 1 ranking on the ATP Tour in his career. When players get to a certain stage, especially so late in Djokovic's career, certain events aren't as important as others.

He's obviously speaking about caring mostly about the Grand Slam tournaments at this point, but it would be false to advertise him as somebody who doesn't care about smaller events.

He certainly cares—he wouldn't play them if he didn't care—but failing to win isn't that shattering to him. Losing at the Australian Open was likely much tougher to swallow than losing to Luca Nardi at the Indian Wells Open.

Mats Wilander certainly believes so, as he spoke to Eurosport about Djokovic and his priorities. They certainly don't include the smaller events, according to the Swede.

"Novak Djokovic doesn't really care when he loses in the smaller tournaments. I mean, he would like to win every tournament, he'd like to win every match. But I do think that sometimes these days he goes on a trip just to test himself."

The way Wilander phrased that is interesting, but he elaborated further. It's certainly possible that Djokovic uses events as tests of his progress because he's made quite a habit of playing a smaller event ahead of Grand Slams.

"‘How good has my practice been back home?’ or wherever he's been practicing, and then he gets to a tournament and he's playing the other pros, the best players in the world, and he realises after he wins a round or two or three or whatever the result is, I think he realises, ‘oh okay, I'm close enough, I don't need to be any better at this particular moment’."


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