Tennis Prose



Scoop’s Notebook and Quotebook Down Under

Novak Djokovic, the uncrowned ATP real world no. 1…

On the US border policy which states un vaxed non Americans will not be able to enter the country which will cause him to miss Indian Wells and Miami Open: “I saw it, but I don’t think it’s official. Look, if it is official, then it is. I mean, what can I do? Nothing. That’s it. You know my position. It is what it is. I’m hoping (to be allowed in), but if I can’t go, I can’t go. That’s it.”

On his relations with former enemy Nick Kyrgios: “He was one of the few who supported me last year, and I appreciate that. In those moments you can see who really supports you and stands by your side. He gave me unconditional support in difficult moments. Our relationship has changed for the better.”

On feelings for Australia: “I have no grudges against anyone from Australia.”

Djokovic will play Denis Shapovalov in the SF of Adelaide, who he leads 7-0 in career head to head.


Nike has included major reduction clauses in its contracts. In a sign of changing times in the overall wealth of the sport of tennis (Pickleball impact?), Nike players now have to meet certain performance requirements – such as ranking position or tournament entries – to earn money. One player agent disclosed that ATP and WTA Nike players ranked outside the top 20 “are not making any money.”

Nike athletes Andrey Rublev, Marta Kostyuk, Marketa Vondrousova, Donna Vekic, aand Sloane Stephens are no longer sponsored by Nike. “It is a standard operating procedure for the brand to invest in players for a period of time and then to re-evaluate the benefits of the relationship.” No word on the status of Nike athletes Grigor Dimitrov, Jack Draper, Emma Raducanu and Naomi Osaka who are all ranked outside the top 20 at this time.


Emma Raducanu doesn’t like the court surface at ASB Classic in Auckland, which she says caused her to slip and sprain her ankle, causing her to default in the second round: “to be honest the courts were incredibly slick, like very slippery to be honest it’s not a surprise that this happened to someone.”


Mats Wilander on Emma: “She can be one of the best players in the world but she has to find an identity. She needs a coach to work that out.”


John Isner is no longer working with his longtime coach David Macpherson.


Mats Wilander on Novak’s “Revenge” Factor to Eurosport:

“I think Novak Djokovic is going to be very welcome wherever he wasn’t allowed to go in 2023. It starts with the Australian Open, of course, and I don’t think that we have ever seen a more hungry tennis player in terms of wanting to get revenge or wanting to win matches. I don’t think anyone has ever been hungrier than Novak is going to be. I think that a lot of people maybe thought that decision [being deported] was right at the time because you can’t make a privilege out of being Novak Djokovic. I think this year, he’s going to be very welcome and it’s going to be an amazing situation. I think Novak is the number one favorite for many, many reasons. I mean, obviously, one reason is that he’s won the Australian Open nine times. The surface is perfect for him. The Australian Open has a history of having players winning it multiple times that are very consistent all the time – and I’m speaking from my own experience as I won there three times. When you play the way Novak plays, he doesn’t have ups and downs. Everybody is not 100% ready in Australia. Some are very ready, some are not ready, and he is always somewhat ready. Somewhat ready for him means he’s the favorite. The surface is perfect.”

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