Novak Djokovic could add “another year or two to his career” following an exceptional 2022 season that saw him miss out on two Grand Slams, Matt Wilander said.
The Serbian failed to defend his Australian Open crown, and also missed out on a North American hard-court swing – including the US Open – unseeded.
However, there were plenty of positives for the former world No. 1 as he successfully defended his Wimbledon title and won the season final to move to 21 Grand Slams.
But Djokovic already was. The green light was given to return to Australia next year A three-year visa ban has been lifted and he is expected to enter the US.
Although this year’s drama will take a toll on him mentally, seven-time Grand Slam winner Wilander feels the 35-year-old can extend his playing career.
“Novak is very close to being allowed to go to the Australian Open and very close to being allowed to go to the US Open,” the Swede said. Eurosport.
“And I think obviously because he’s not allowed to go, I think physically playing five sets, seven matches can be tough, but he can handle that.
But emotionally, I feel like he’s added another year or two to his career because he’s probably a little upset about what happened. But Novak fully understood what had happened and there was nothing they could do about it. And is it correct or not? It’s okay… so I think he can understand that.
But I think he looks really fresh, he looks great. I can’t understand or believe that he didn’t win the race in Paris. [Djokovic lost in the final to Holger Rune]. I’m shocked he didn’t win that one. But well played and you can’t win everything.
“Then in Turin he was better than anyone else. I mean, it was a perfect storm for him and he was in the middle of it and he was just flying along. And you don’t touch him when he’s in that mood.
“Was I surprised the younger guys couldn’t hit through it? Sometimes it surprises me a bit, but it’s more Novak.
With his movement and defense on the tennis court and above all his desire to win small matches, he is probably the best player of all time.
“He just finds a way to do everything. I’m impressed.”
Read more: Novak Djokovic on retirement: ‘I still have a huge hunger to win titles and make history’