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Roger Federer’s former coach Paul Annacone has heaped the praise on Novak Djokovic after he secured his 24th Grand Slam title of his career when winning the US Open last weekend. The Serbian impressively beat Daniil Medvedev in straight sets with a 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 success on Sunday night in New York.
Djokovic was overcome with emotion after the success over his Russian rival to draw level with Margaret Court’s record of winning 24 Grand Slam titles, and he will be hopeful of surpassing her 50-year record at the Australian Open in January.
Despite looking to have been struggling with an injury, Djokovic battled well against Medvedev and left many speechless with how he put his opponent to the sword late on. Annacone is among his admirers and has admitted that he has ‘given up’ trying to put his finger on why the 36-year-old is such an incredible tennis player.
Speaking after Djokovic’s victory, he told the Tennis Channel: “Well for me, whenever I see matches like this I always try to put my student hat on and learn, right? And you see the result and you see what happened, but I always try to figure out why. You know, when you look at the numbers of what Novak’s done throughout his career, they continue to just astound me. And you look at the pivotal moments.
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“There’s about seven minutes in the second set where that match totally could have been flipped on its head. And magically and a way with will and expertise and experience, Novak gets through and turns that into a 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 routine match – but not really. And so you’re trying to figure out why.”
Annacone is one of the most respected coaches in the industry and his work with Federer and Pete Sampras has meant that his name has been written into the history books, but he admits that he has no choice but to simply sit back and enjoy Djokovic’s ability rather than trying to work out ways to better him.
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“I just remember I have Pete Sampras whispering in my ear – because I used to ask him all the stuff – and he used to say, ‘You know what? Sometimes good just wins, but good doesn’t beat great very much,’” the former world No 12 explained. “And you know, Medvedev is very good and he’s right there to being great. But Novak is an all-time great.
“And maybe there’s just not a why. Maybe it’s just that big moment. So as much as we try to figure it out, I tell you I used to have a full head of hair, I don’t anymore trying to figure it out. But now I just sit back and I just applaud. It is so much fun just to watch this guy do what he does. It’s absolutely miraculous.” Annacone is currently working with American star Taylor Fritz, who was beaten by Djokovic in the quarter-finals of the competition earlier this month.
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