Justine Henin: Accepting and loving adversity is Novak Djokovic's great strength


Justine Henin: Accepting and loving adversity is Novak Djokovic's great strength

Former world No. 1 Justine Henin believes Novak Djokovic is as driven as you can get and that's why he is still so committed and dedicated to the game despite already being an all-time great. Djokovic is tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on the all-time Grand Slam record list with 20 Majors, he is holding the record for most weeks spent at No.

1 and now he is set to end the year ranked at No. 1 for a record seventh time. “I think we (champions) all love competition. Him, even more so? Does he have even more abilities? Obviously, yes. He is someone who can work on his motivation, who is able to feed it.

There is probably also a lot of work to do with his environment and entourage," Henin told Eurosport. “I think that Novak Djokovic is a man who thinks a lot on himself. And so he has this ability to analyse what is happening, an ability to accept things and at the same time fight against them.

I think he's someone who tries to make sense of things and so he thinks a lot, I believe in this very, very much, and so he works a lot on himself."

'Djokovic welcomes the adversity and pressure'

In his first tournament since suffering a disappointing US Open final loss, Djokovic beat Daniil Medvedev to win the Paris Masters.

"I think he's a hard worker, too, not just in the sense of saying ‘I'm going to practice, I'm doing what I need to do to be ready’, he's working on himself, on his person, he's thinking about it all. You can feel that he invests on his personal development as well.

And I think that's something that can help him," Henin continued. “But above all, Novak Djokovic is driven. We are all driven, I was and others at higher levels than me, by a competitive spirit. We like a challenge, but Novak Djokovic even more: the more difficult it is, the more he is able to show something of himself behind it.

And so, I think he's someone who accepts and loves adversity, probably even more than others. "And that's his great strength today. He says ‘pressure is a privilege’. He uses it, he needs it. He's able to cope with it and he's almost even stronger when it's most present. So that's what makes him really, really special”.

Justine Henin Novak Djokovic