Novak Djokovic has revealed how humming a song helped him progress to the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters.
The world number one scraped through in his quarter-final tie against Mischa Zverev yesterday, despite a string of unforced errors taking the match to three sets.
But rather than lose his composure, Djokovic showed his musical side in the final set, as part of his bid to remain calmer on the court.
“It was toward the end of the match,” said Djokovic.
“Instead of the occasional tantrum that I used to have — I hope it’s behind me — I would switch that vibration and transform it in a tune.
“I’m trying to remember. Which one was it? It was a famous song, actually.”
— SH Rolex Masters (@SHRolexMasters) October 14, 2016
German qualifier Zverev is ranked 110 in the world, yet Djokovic produced 18 unforced errors in the first set alone, with less than half of his first serves finding their mark.
“I wasn’t striking the ball very well,” Djokovic added.
“I was quite flat with my feet, so he got me where he wanted to get me, and to stand still at the baseline.
“(Zverev) was fighting. He was focused. He gave his best, and he was a few points from winning.”