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Novak Djokovic’s famous praise for Bernard Tomic

Not often does the Serbian Novak Djokovic find an opponent who can trick him, but seven years ago, a young Bernard Tomic from Australia nearly got the better of him at the Shanghai Rolex Masters. The Shanghai battles over the years have produced memorable duels, with this clash also emerging as one of the most famous ones ever to be played in China. 

Not often does the Serbian Novak Djokovic find an opponent who can trick him, but seven years ago, a young Bernard Tomic from Australia nearly got the better of him at the Shanghai Rolex Masters. The Shanghai battles over the years have produced memorable duels, with this clash also emerging as one of the most famous ones ever to be played in China. 

The Shanghai Rolex Masters is the only tournament in the ATP Tour Masters 1000 which is played outside of Europe or North America. It is considered a very prestigious tournament and all the major stars try to compete in it as many times as they can.

In the 2015 quarterfinal, Novak Djokovic was facing a 22-year-old Tomic who was coming of age. The first set between these two players turned out to be incredibly riveting, with no room for errors from both ends. However, Djokovic with his experience just about managed to squeeze out the set in the tie-breaker.

The young Tomic had exhausted himself enough in the first set and bowed to the brilliance of Djokovic in the second, losing it 6-1. The only game he won in the second set was off Djokovic’s serve, which was a commendable feat. However, the 21-time grand slam champion was full of praise for the courage and astuteness in the display shown by the Australian tennis player. 

“Bernard played some smart tennis, stepping in every shorter ball, serving very accurately. He pushed me. Went down to a couple of points to decide the first set in the tie-break. Obviously, it was a huge relief for me to win the first set, and started off the second with a break,” Djokovic said after the match. 

Novak Djokovic is already in the league of legends as one of the greatest-ever tennis players. He is only behind Rafael Nadal in the list of most grand slams won. Whilst Nadal has 22 to his credit and is nearing the end of his career, Djokovic is just one short and still has some time left. 

However, with the Serbian denying to take the necessary COVID-19 vaccination, he was not allowed to feature in the Australian Open 2022 and there is a good possibility he might not be there the next year as well. He only featured in Roland Garros and Wimbledon, winning the latter for the seventh time in his career.