Former world No 1 Kim Clijsters expects Novak Djokovic to be “motivated more than ever before” in his return to the Australian Open. Djokovic, 35, was recently informed by the Australian government that he is allowed to return to the country in 2023.
Djokovic, a record nine-time Australian Open champion, was denied participation at this year’s Australian Open. “I heard that he’s (Novak Djokovic) able to play this year, in 2023 he’s going to be able to go, and I’m sure he’s going to be more motivated than ever to try and do well there again,” Clijsters recently said on The Craig Shapiro Tennis Podcast, as quoted on Sportskeeda.
Clijsters on Djokovic bouncing back from the Australia visa saga
After being deported from Australia, Djokovic bounced back in the summer when he won his seventh Wimbledon title. During the indoor hard swing, Djokovic made four consecutive finals and captured three titles – including a record-tying sixth ATP Finals title.
Now, Clijsters is applauding Djokovic for the way he responded to the adversity and challenges. “Amazing. The way that he’s able to leave a lot of the negative, the way that he’s able to put that behind him and kind of use it all in a force on the court to play better and be even more focused, I absolutely admire it.
I wasn’t in Australia when that whole thing was going on, but I can imagine it’s really tough to go through, not just for him but for the team and everyone involved. It’s a crazy situation,” Clijsters said.
Even though Djokovic is nearly 36, he is still perfectly healthy and exceptionally prepared. “I love watching him play, I love the focus on wellness and longevity, the way he takes care of his body. I find it so intriguing and interesting, and I just would love to sit down with him and pick his brain about it all and ask a million questions,” Clijsters said of Djokovic’s diet.