Reigning Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin has heaped praise on Novak Djokovic, who clinched the men’s singles title at Melbourne Park last year.
In an interview with Australian daily The Age, the rising American star revealed that the top-ranked Serb gave her a piece of advice that helped her lift her maiden Grand Slam crown last year.
When Novak Djokovic advised Sofia Kenin to “live in the moment”
Kenin said that while she was battling nerves ahead of the biggest match of her career to date, the Serb advised her to “live in the moment” and not worry about the outcome.
“…he gave me some tips on how to play (in the final). Just for him to help me out was really nice,” Kenin said.
It was Djokovic’s wise words that gave her belief ahead of the big game and eventually saw her battle past two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza to claim the women’s crown.
She added that she has great admiration for the Serb superstar and simply marvels at how he shoulders the burden of expectations from fans every time he steps out on the court.
Kenin says she’d like to emulate Djokovic’s Grand Slam success
Paying glowing tribute to the World Number 1, the American called Djokovic a “great athlete, great player, great person”.
Kenin said it was “incredible” how the Serb has been on top of his game for such a long time and continues his glory run at the top level.
The American said that it is his ability to handle pressure situations and seize key moments in a match that sets Djokovic apart from his peers in the men’s field.
Kenin said she wants to emulate the Serb’s level of success, especially in the Grand Slams. “He knows how to handle the top pressure, the tough moments. He is where he is and I would love to have that but I have to work on that,” she said.
The current World Number 4 didn’t have the best of form heading to Australia as she lost in the quarter-finals of the Abu Dhabi WTA event. She lost to Maria Sakkari of Greece in three sets in the last-eight encounter.
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