Wimbledon: Dried Walnuts, Yoga and Continuous Technical Progression: Some Keys to Understanding Djokovic’s Hegemony


Lex Corretja, Jos Manuel Beirn and Marc Boada analyze the technical, physical and mental evolution of the man who has reached Nadal and Federer with their twentieth Grand Slam

Djokovic celebrates a point in the Wimbledon final against Berrettini.AFP

“He is the most difficult tennis player to play in history,” he asserts. lex Strap in telephone conversation with this newspaper. We speak, of course, of Novak Djokovic, the flamboyant hexacampen of Wimbledon, who has already hunted Roger Federer Y Rafael Nadal on the santsima trinidad of this sport, by adding his twentieth Grand Slam title. What has improved the most in recent times, besides service, is patience. He is able to play at a very high intensity for a long time. Before, he sinned in haste when things were not going well for him, continues the former world number two and commentator for Eurosport and Spanish Television.

There is a confluence of factors to understand why since 2010 he has come back no less than 15 majors to Federer and eight to Nadal in the exciting career that is still alive. Djokovic takes great care of even the smallest detail and has given considerable mental stretch. Now he focuses only on what depends on him. He knows how to handle concentration and where his head should be at all times, he points out Jos Manuel Beirn, psychologist specialized in sports and Olympic silver with the Spanish basketball team at the Los Angeles Games. He knows how to suffer and endure as long as it takes to win. He no longer wants to take the rival out of the game but to continue competing and be indestructible.

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It is in all of it that the explanation must be sought. He has a deep commitment, from the psychic predisposition to eating. Travel to tournaments with seven or eight tpers. In one of them he has his walnuts counted that he dehydrates at night to eat them the next day, he discovers Marc Boada, physiotherapist of Andrey Rublev, number seven in the world.

He has found a balance between his aggressiveness and his defense that makes him almost infallible. When he attacks he does it very well and when he plays against it too, because he is very flexible, very elastic, with great physical resistance, adds Corretja. They’re making him some Spiderman memes. It has an extraordinary ability to maintain body stability in unlikely situations. There are flexible players, but in maximum degrees of extension they do not have that control. Works it. You do a lot of stretches in forced positions of shoulder and hip rotations. It works the deeper muscles a lot, explains Boada.

Flexibility and emotional control

Djokovic started yoga in search of more emotional control, but his practice has also helped him to function like rubber. The reason he retired from some games early in his career was more psychic in nature. At the time, he might not have been able to absorb the disappointment of losing. I did not give him the head to continue. Now you have achieved physical and mental balance. It’s a bomb, he adds.

There is a capital game taking off this season. Roland Garros was a turning point. Winning Nadal in the semifinals gave him the confidence to think he could break all records. There were very few tennis players with the stamina and the ability to beat him five sets on grass and I think three-quarters of the same is going to happen in New York. If he does not suffer setbacks, it will be difficult for them to beat him, Corretja guesses.

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More serene and resilient, Djokovic still thrives on some disputes with the public, as happened again when the stands opted for Berrettini. It is the mentality of the Balkan people. I suffer it in basketball. You have to have tremendous confidence to make everything profitable, the public against it, the reaction of rivals. Did you remember Drazen Petrovic or players like that and you see that he has a connection with them. He almost prefers an adverse hobby than an indifferent one. Interpret his attitude as a signal to focus even more on what he has to do. Although, feeling the best, he does not like not being the most loved, notes Beirn.

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