The 21-time major champion is showing his steel down the stretch in Turin.By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday, November 18, 2022

Novak Djokovic was in a state of suffering on Friday in Turin. As it turns out, it was just a little fatigue.

Though it might have looked like he was on the verge of a physical breakdown during the above changeover, Djokovic assured reporters that he was just feeling the mental and physical fatigue that comes with a hair-raising battle.

Tennis Express

“There was a lot of different things,” Djokovic said after defeating Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-6(2) on Friday . “But I'm not going to go into details about it because I just don't feel it's a place for me to share that because why would I? I don't want to reveal what I'm going through exactly to my opponents.

“Everyone has one of those days where they struggle more physically. For me that was today. I'm very proud to be able to find a way.”

Was the 21-time major champion pushed to his limit?

“I don't think that a limit exists,” he said. “It's really in your head. It's really about perspective and approach and your perception of how you see things in that given moment.”

The 35-year-old believes that the mind can help the body overpower fatigue, and his performance against Medvedev was a perfect example.

“The biggest battle, as I've said before, is always the inner battle,” he said. “If you manage to find yourself in that optimal state of mind and body as often as you possibly can, I feel you can extract the best and reap the best results for yourself in every moment, every point, every match.”

Djokovic will need to recover quickly for Saturday’s semifinals. He will face Taylor Fritz in the semis and will need to win on three consecutive days if he is to finish the season by claiming his sixth ATP Finals title.

It's a challenge he isn't worried about…

“I'm not the freshest guy right now talking to you as I was maybe yesterday,” he said, before adding that the thrill of victory might actually give him energy rather than take it away.

“I feel that every big win against one of the best players in the world, particularly Medvedev in these conditions, can only boost your confidence,” he said.

“On the physical side, I'm not worried because, I mean, worry just depletes you of the vital energy you need. If something happens tomorrow in a good or bad way, it happens and I have to deal with it then tomorrow. I'm going to do everything I possibly can today with my physio, with myself, with my team in order to get the good rest, the good recovery. I have things that have always been part of my routine. I know what I need to do.

“I've had many cases in my life before where I managed to recover very quickly. Hopefully that's going to be the case again.”