It’s been a struggle to watch and listen to Novak Djokovic these past couple of years, with surgery on his elbow and a long dry spell. It was interesting to see a little bit of normalcy there on Wednesday night, though, as the Serbian won his first tournament since June with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 win over Italy’s Fabio Fognini at the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals.
A pair of handsome, dark suits filled the audience at London’s O2 Arena, and players were called on to make brief statements after matches. Djokovic’s was taken on by a Scottish reporter, something he’s had to do many times throughout the year. Naturally, he was asked a question about his arm.
“The elbow is in good shape, actually,” he said in his trademark Italian style. “I’m good. Can’t really complain. It’s a part of our game and I’m going to play through.”
“I had a very difficult month in the summer,” he continued. “I was playing through pain. It was a very difficult period of my life and the way I received these injuries was horrible. I was, honestly, rather brutal in the way I did it and in the way I spent weeks on the court and didn’t find any solutions.”
The reporter thought he heard boos from the crowd, and Djokovic admitted he was having a hard time. But that it was actually applause.
“That noise you can’t hear, that was my voice saying it,” he said. “That’s how the crowd reacted.”
If you were at all confused by the process, the reporter was also confused.
“You were so pleased with yourself,” he laughed. “You think the fans were cheering for you?”