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Sometimes, everybody cries: Novak Djokovic a winner with his vulnerability


Not a night owl? You must have been reaching for the cellphone on Monday morning to just confirm Novak Djokovic‘s tryst with destiny. And then the shocking alarm that shakes you out of your stupor – HE LOST! IN STRAIGHT SETS! Surely you are floating in REM sleep.
Despite his Tokyo turbulence, you were convinced of the fact there was no stopping this ‘machine’ geared to fly higher than the limits. But the mask had slipped, leaving him gasping for air, an escape route. Yeah, everybody hurts and sometimes… everybody cries.

The biggest, most pleasant surprise was Novak’s tears, his vulnerability; he is human, isn’t he? Almost like the harried little boy unable to cope with the call of history. In these pandemic times, his uncertainty resonates. It makes him one of us, it makes him a face in the crowd. For all the silverware in his trophy room, Djokovic reaches out for love and acceptance. Sometimes when you lose, you also gain.

Djokovic’s Grand Slam bid foiled as Medvedev wins US Open

The Serb has always been inspired by Billie Jean King’s authoritative “pressure is a privilege” statement. But to bow down once in a while to the greater design is not necessarily a weak thing. In their own private space, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal must have embraced these colours of the twisting kaleidoscope; the new US Open women’s champion Emma Raducanu, still a girl, had bounced back from her anxious withdrawal borne out of home expectations at Wimbledon; Serena Williams, who must been have in Djokovic‘s shoes chasing down Margaret Court’s 24 biggies, had acknowledged that moment may never come.
To understand you are allowed to be nervous and tired, is a blessing too. All heroes tend to come under the moral microscope and Djokovic has this knack of getting under people’s skins. He is the anti-vaxxer with a spiritual guru, the defiant howler who used to run with wolves, a racket smasher known to accidentally hit line judges, a win-at-all-cost hustler who can occasionally indulge in gamesmanship, an outspoken anti-establishment figure, all no-nos.

When he lost to Alex Zverev in the Olympics, there was almost a collective sigh of relief from a tennis world that had grudgingly admired his march towards history.
Later, he pulled out of the mixed saying his ‘body had said enough’ and he was playing ‘under medications’ with ‘abnormal pain and exhaustion’. Another act of deception, who knows?
In the US Open, the World No. 1 dropped six sets in his run-up to the final against Medvedev, playing 5-anda-half hours more than his opponent. Despite the physical battles, no one expected this out-of-sync Djokovic to turn up, sobbing under his towel after a brief show of resilience.

There is no calendar Grand Slam, no 21st Major yet but an explosion of emotions. For now, love is all he needs.





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