Djokovic feels the nerves as tennis GOAT faces F1 star in Ryder Cup celeb match

Novak Djokovic is feeling the pressure as the 24-time Grand Slam winner prepares to tee off at the Ryder Cup. The world No 1 is playing against F1 driver Carlos Sainz and Italian Tommaso Perrino in an All-Star Match, with Gareth Bale and Andrey Shevchenko also involved in the event.

Djokovic was keen to tame expectations before partnering up with WR4GD world No 1 Kipp Poppert in Rome. “Normally I thrive on pressure but with this type of club! We are tennis players. Please keep your expectations low! I am nervous,” he said as he took to the putting green ahead of the competition, pulling a tennis racket out of his golf bag.

“I played much more golf before becoming a parent. The last seven or eight days, I have played five times. I have never had a week that is that intensive in golf. I had a couple of lessons as well in a local course back in Serbia, we have a 9-hole course and I was out with a local pro. I liked my golf before the lessons!”

The top-ranked tennis player also explained how he got the Ryder Cup gig, adding: “My caddie Mark Madden is my business advisor. He lives in Wentworth. He grew up with Luke Donald. Luke and him go back a long way.

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“Luke asked me and I obviously accepted the invite. I was very curious to see the line-up. When I saw it was Gareth Bale and Andrey Shevchenko, who are scratch golfers, I was not sure about being here! But it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Being on the Ryder Cup course and being to have my first experience on such a challenging and hilly course.”

Sharing his tactics, he continued: “I have a great partner – he is world No 1. We are playing best-ball. If I do slice, I am staying on the fairway.” The recent US Open winner confirmed that he was planning to take in some of the Ryder Cup after his own experience on the course.

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“I will stay and watch the first part on Friday for sure. I will have to leave then but I can’t wait. 7am. Packed house. I really want to see that, I heard it is amazing. So I will –  It is unique. I will be here,” he said.

Djokovic is currently taking a break from tennis, skipping the Asian swing following his triumph in Flushing Meadows. The world No 1 will be back in action at the Paris Masters in a month but is keeping his focus on the golf course for now.

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