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Novak Djokovic warns he has 'extra motivation' after Rafael Nadal's Australian Open glory

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Novak Djokovic has insisted that he will not be lacking any motivation to beat Rafael Nadal’s record of Grand Slam titles upon his eventual return to action later this month. The Serb has not played since he was forced to miss this year’s Australian Open after he was deported from the country on the eve of the tournament.

Djokovic was detained shortly upon his arrival in Australia before he was released and then detained again due to the government’s stance on his medical exemption to gain entry.

He was eventually forced to return to Serbia after a last-gasp appeal was rejected out of hand, leaving him unable to compete at the first Grand Slam of the new year.

The tournament was eventually won by Nadal, who registered a record-breaking 21st career Grand Slam title with a remarkable victory over Daniil Medvedev in the final.

Djokovic’s controversial situation raised plenty of additional questions over whether he will be prevented from playing at this year’s remaining Majors if he fails to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

He is set to return to the court at next week’s ATP 500 Dubai Tennis Championships, where visitors are not required to be vaccinated, and has already insisted that he will be determined to make amends for recent events with a strong showing.

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“Everything that has happened will affect my return in Dubai,” he told Serbian state TV.

“I will try to channel all this energy, to turn it into fuel both mentally and physically. There is extra motivation, surely.”

Djokovic admitted in a recent BBC interview that he would rather put himself out of Grand Slam contention for the foreseeable future than take the vaccine, with the 34-year-old sticking firmly to his principles in spite of what happened in Australia.

However, he has since underlined his desire to compete in Melbourne once again before he eventually calls time on his professional career.

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“I will always remember all the nice things that have happened to me in Melbourne,” added Djokovic.

“Despite all this, I have a great connection with Australia. Results that I have had in Melbourne in the past show you how I feel when I go there.

“Everything that has happened this year was totally unexpected. It will be hard to forget, but I want to come back to Australia in the future and to play at the Rod Laver Arena again.”

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether Djokovic will be able to beat Nadal’s record of Grand Slam titles when he makes his eventual comeback on the biggest stage of them all.

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The Spaniard previously insisted that although he did not agree with Djokovic’s stance on the vaccine in Australia, he still has the greatest respect for his rival and does not view him any differently in spite of his recent situation.

“We need to be vaccinated and the situation needs to be better for the well-being of everyone and for the health of our sport,” said Nadal before winning the top prize in Melbourne earlier this month.

“The Australian Open will be great Australian Open with or without him. That’s my point of view. Honestly, I’m little bit tired of the situation because I just believe that it’s important to talk about our sport, about tennis.

“I wish him all the best. I really respect him, even if I do not agree with a lot of things that he did the last couple of weeks.”



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That decision failed to pay off, however, with the Red Devils sacking Moyes after just 10 months in charge.

After the current West Ham boss came Van Gaal, who arrived with big things expected due to his past success at the likes of Barcelona and Ajax.

Giggs was hoping to get the Red Devils job himself, which was why he stayed, but both ended up leaving nearly six years ago.

When Jose Mourinho took over, he opted to maintain his close relationship with Rui Faria – who had previously worked under him at clubs such as Real Madrid and Chelsea.

Fair departed in the summer of 2018, though, with Michael Carrick then given a place on Mourinho’s bench.

Carrick stayed to work under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with the Norwegian also regularly picking up the thoughts of Phelan and Kieran McKenna throughout his spell in the dugout.

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