"There is no reason to look for suffering, but if it comes and tries to get into your life, do not fear: look him in the face and face him with his head held high."
The phrase is by Friedrich Nietzsche, but today it could well be put in the mouth of Novak Djokovic, the tennis player who returns to rule the circuit with an iron fist and bursts into the Masters Cup that today starts with a military step, as if nothing had happened when in fact everything happened: fears, defeats, changes. And, of course, the dreaded suffering to which the Serbian decided to look into his eyes to reverse a race that was lost permanently in the tunnel and that finally offers one of the most Copernican twists that are remembered in tennis: from the whole to the nothing and from nothing to everything. It's that simple, that complex.
"The number one is the pinnacle of the season. I am very proud of this achievement and this time it is very special because of the trip I have lived during the last 15 months ", it was revealed a couple of days ago Nole, who resigned in mid-season in 2017, started this 2018 between pains and then it was to stop in the operating room to repair the right elbow; from there, a fight against everything and against himself, against doubts; against his 31 years and going untimely, without a compass in hand, against the eternal youth of Nadal and Federer, against the ugly fate that threatened him when he lost his game and his mind clouded, advised surely by people who did not it produced no benefit.
"After the operation, in February, it seemed unlikely that I was where I am today because of how I felt on the track and how I played, but there was always a part of me that believed that I could come back and that it was not impossible," he acknowledged. some statements collected through the ATP website in Belgrade, again the man to beat, on the cusp and dominating as if everything had been a path of roses instead of the tortuous path that he undertook since winning Roland Garros, in June 2016, and temporarily satiated his competitive appetite.
Since July, 31 victories and only two defeats
He is, again, the undeniable reference. After snatching the throne from Nadal and winning four trophies starting in July, with a series of 31 victories and only two defeats – one of them, in the Paris-Bercy final – reappears in London as the top favorite. There is Federer, the recordman of the Masters Cup with six titles, but Nole squeezed the moment and returns to the O2 of Greenwich having won five of the last 10 editions of the tournament, four of the nine that have taken place so far in London.
There is Federer, who he defeated recently in Bercy's semifinals and despite the methodical planning of the calendar he faces the final straight without the bellows of other times, as dear as ever – another year, he was designated as the favorite player of the fans – but without the punch of the first half of the course, having skated in New York (against John Millman) and Shanghai (Borna Coric), although with the unbeatable endorsement of being Federer: if someone knows how to play everything on a card, that is the Swiss.
Two champions and two debutants
With a very similar annual balance -49 victories and 11 defeats the Serbian, by the 46-8 of Federer- and located in different groups thanks to the late absence of Nadal for an intervention in an ankle, everything points to hand in hand Between both. Of the eight participants, they are the only ones who have raised the trophy teacher. Among the others, the uncertainty that Alexander Zverev always proposes, the deficit performance of Dominic Thiem under the roof, the daring bets of Marin Cilic or Kei Nishikori and two debutants: Kevin Anderson and John Isner, this fired over the horn by the low Spanish .
"Along with the Grand Slams and the Masters, being number one is the most important challenge in our sport," says Djokovic. "I have learned from this experience", prolongs the winner of 13 grand, champion of the last two majors (Wimbledon and the US Open) and still very much looking forward to war. "You have to draw a long-term plan and stick to it," says Djokovic, a purebred winner that few bet at the beginning of the year, especially after falling blurred in Australia and crashing in Indian Wells Y Miami, after undergoing the elbow operation. So, Nole was just beginning a progressive ascension topped with an extraordinary tour starting in July.
Who would have imagined it?
GRUPO GUGA KUERTEN:
– Novak Djokovic.
– Alexander Zverev.
– Marin Cilic.
– John Isner
GRUPO LLEYTON HEWITT:
– Roger Federer.
– Kevin Anderson.
– Dominic Thiem.
– Kei Nishikori.
* 15.00: Anderson-Thiem.
* 21.00: Federer-Nishikori