Novak Djokovic says he will 'keep going' after US Open win
Novak Djokovic admitted he packed his tennis rackets as a back-up in case his golfing experience didn’t work out after participating in a Ryder Cup celebrity event on Wednesday. The tennis superstar joined several other renowned athletes for the All-Star Celebrity match at Marco Simone. And while he wanted to try his hand at a sport that requires a different type of swing, the world No 1 wasn’t prepared to leave his trusted equipment at home.
It’s not often that the 36-year-old looks uncomfortable when getting ready for a sports event. But this was no ATP 1000 event or even a Grand Slam – the Ryder Cup might be the golf equivalent but without some form of talent, celebrities can quickly find themselves out of their depth.
Rocking up to the country club on the outskirts of the Italian capital of Rome, Djokovic felt somewhat out of sorts as he spoke to the media. And the nervy Serbian was clearly having second thoughts about his participation after including his tennis rackets amongst his golf clubs.
Asked if his tennis rackets were a back-up in case he struggles with golf, Djokovic told Sky Sports: “Exactly! My confidence level with the golf clubs is not that high.
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“So just in case things go in the wrong direction, I can always rely on the item that I’m most comfortable with, which is the racket.
“It’s a pretty good surface and I’m going to hit the golf ball and hopefully it’s going to go straight!”
Off the back of his US Open triumph over Daniil Medvedev, Djokovic tied Margaret Court for most Grand Slam singles titles with 24 and he is closing in on Roger Federer’s total haul of 103 titles overall, having claimed his 96th at Flushing Meadows.
But his participation in the Davis Cup is on hold for now after helping Serbia reach the quarter-finals, where him and his compatriots will face Great Britain and Andy Murray.
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The ATP Finals for the top eight players on the ATP Tour is also not taking place until November 13 in Turin, so the veteran has some spare time to use up away from the court and clearly felt that his golfing skills required some improvement.
Djokovic found himself paired up with another star, retired footballer Gareth Bale, who certainly knows his way around the golf course. Also on Monty’s team were pro surfer Leonardo Fioravanti, Garrett Hilbert from Dude Perfect and G4D Tour (golf for the disabled) tour winner Kipp Popert.
Addressing the crowd at the first tee, he said: “It’s such an honour, a golden opportunity for a once in a lifetime experience. Thanks to all the fans for coming and putting a bit of extra pressure on us on the first tee. It’s a unique experience.”
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