Patrick Mouratoglou: "Australian crowd must respect Novak Djokovic"
by LORENZO CIOTTI | VIEW 281
Novak Djokovic, after last season's ban from Australia, where he was unable to defend his title in Melbourne, this year has returned to play regularly in the Oceanic land. The 21-time grand slam winner, ahead of the first major of the season where he will attempt to lift the trophy for the tenth time, is playing the ATP 250 in Adelaide.
The start was convincing: the Serbian defeated Lestienne in his debut and will face Quentin Halys in the round of 16. Speaking of the Australian Open which will start in a few weeks, the French coach Patrick Mouratoglou spoke of the chances that the Belgrade champion will have of winning back Melbourne after two years.
Mouratoglou, former coach of Serena Williams, to journalist Arnold Montgault during an interview with Eurosport, said: "It will be tough for Novak in Australia, that's for sur. He will bring a lot of emotional baggage with him.
He has been through a lot, from an emotional point of view. No one is immune. It will be tough. I hope he doesn't collapse like at the 2021 US Open (clear defeat in the final against Medvedev one step away from winning four consecutive slams in that year - ed.)" The French coach continued speaking of the official competitions: "It's the pre-season and there's still no competition stress.
So he'll be emotionally rested, which is positive. He won't start directly with the Australian Open, so he will have time to get used to the environment."
Mouratoglou thinks Australians should respect Djokovic
Djokovic said he had a tough few months trying to deal with the aftermath of what happened in Australia.
Mouratoglou hopes Djokovic will be shown respect upon his return to Melbourne: "I hope the Australians give him a good reception because, in my opinion, everything that has been said about him is really undeserved. I wish they had respect for champions.
When you walk into a tennis stadium and see Djokovic play, the least you can do is respect them whether you like them or not, whether you agree with them or not. I think this is the minimum."