In this week’s edition of Hot Shots, we take a look at a moving speech from Novak Djokovic, a pair of epic points, featuring Petra Kvitova and the Bryan brothers, and off-court action spanning air, ice and sea.
Both 2018 US Open singles champions were honorees at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco, as Novak Djokovic was named Sportsman of the Year and Naomi Osaka won the Breakthrough of the Year award on Monday.
In a heartfelt speech, Djokovic revealed that he had thoughts of leaving tennis behind as he struggled with his comeback and in life during a trying 12 months. He also delved into his feeling of relief, as opposed to fulfillment, after winning the Novak Slam at Roland Garros in 2016 to hold all four majors simultaneously.
Since then, very deliberate “inner engineering” has allowed the Serb to be more present and to look within himself for inspiration, with a new appreciation for enjoying the journey replacing a constant focus on end goals.
As for on-court highlights, Petra Kvitova’s semifinal victory over Su-Wei Hsieh provided one of the points of the week, with the Taiwanese defending miraculously and guessing right on four straight shots to hang on late in set two. At the Dubai Tennis Championships, Kvitova eventually wrapped up the point and could only smile at the dogged determination of her opponent. The Czech ended up a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 winner and will face Belinda Bencic in the final.
Bob and Mike Bryan also won a show-stopping point, at the Delray Beach Open in South Florida. The No. 1 seeds are through to the semifinals—the deepest run of their 2019 comeback—with the help of this entertaining rally, punctuated with a trademark chest bump.