Alexander Zverev outlines the keys to Novak Djokovic dominance

Djokovic celebrates after ending year as world no.1

German tennis star Alexander Zverev claims that the secret to Novak Djokovic’s sustained success over the years is due to him putting self-care as the “number one priority.” Zverev believes that the Serbian is arguably in the best shape of his career at 36 years old.

Despite being of an age that most athletes retire, Djokovic has enjoyed another year of great success. The tennis great has reached all four Grand Slam finals this season for the third time in his career, winning on three of the occasions.

This year saw Djokovic win the US Open, French Open and Australian Open, but lose in a thrilling Wimbledon final against Carlos Alcaraz. Throw in two Masters titles and another in Adelaide and it all adds up to six titles this season and will see him end the year as the top-ranked male player for a record-extending eighth time.

Showing no signs of slowing down the 24-time Grand Slam champion is hoping to add a final title to his collection at the ATP World Tour Finals. And his continued dominance isn’t something that has surprised one of his younger rivals, with Zverev speaking ahead of his game against Daniil Medvedev on Wednesday.

“I think he’s a player that takes care of his body the best out of everybody,” Zverev said. “I think he goes through his rituals pretty much every single day.

“He takes care of himself, and that’s his number one priority above everything else. I think he’s done extremely well doing that over the last few years.

“I think he’s 36 years old, but he looks like he’s 26, 27. He might be in even better shape than he was 10 years ago. It doesn’t really even seem that he looks like he’s going to stop.”

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Djokovic has arguably played the best tennis of his career after turning 30 back in May 2017. The tennis great has won half of his 24 Grand Slam titles since reaching the milestone.

Adding more weight to the claim, the Serbian has a Grand Slam final record of 12-3 since turning 30, trumping his 12-9 record in his 20s. The only other tennis player to reach double digits in Grand Slam wins since turning 30 is Serena Williams. The American won 10 titles after the milestone.

In comparison Rafael Nadal came close with eight wins while Roger Federer won just four Grand Slam titles.

Although the World No. 1 is enjoying another stellar year, he still believes he has performed better in previous seasons.

“One of the best years,” the Serbian said speaking to the press when asked how this season compares with previous ones. “I wouldn’t say the best, but one of the best.

“I mean, the fact that I’ve won three out of four Slams and played a final [in] the fourth and it’s still not the best year of my life, it’s quite nice to have that kind of situation.”

Djokovic is next in action on Tuesday when he plays World No. 4 Jannik Sinner in the ATP World Tour finals. Zverev is also featuring on Wednesday when he faces World No. 3 Daniil Medvedev.

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