Novak Djokovic played over the weekend in the Laver Cup, which not only served as a competition between Team Europe and Team World, but also a celebration of the career of the now-retired Roger Federer. The Serbian was happy to participate in such a special moment.
“I have great respect for Roger and what he has contributed to our sport. He had an epic career, he can be proud of it. He is one of the most recognized athletes of all time,” said Djokovic. "His retirement is a sad moment for tennis."
Djokovic is 35 years old, but he still does not think about retiring. The 88-time Tour champion, who is currently No. 7 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, is eager to maintain his high profile. "I still want to play tennis even though I achieved almost everything you can achieve in tennis," Djokovic said.
"I still have a passion and hunger to play at the highest professional level." That journey has taken him to Tel Aviv this week, where the Serb will compete in the Tel Aviv Watergen Open. The top favorite will play against the Spaniard Pablo Andújar or the Brazilian Thiago Monteiro in his opening match.
“I was committed to playing in the Laver Cup and also wanted to play for three weeks in a row, so Tel Aviv was a perfect choice for me,” said Djokovic. "Also because I haven't been here for a while and last time here I had a fantastic experience."
In 2006, the 18-year-old Djokovic competed in a Davis Cup series in Israel. He is excited to be back in the country. “It was the loudest atmosphere I have ever experienced, people very passionate about the sport here.
Djokovic played the Laver Cup
Novak Djokovic is set to play in Israel for the first time in nearly two decades.
“I was committed to play at Laver Cup, and I also wanted to play for three weeks in a row, so Tel Aviv was a perfect choice for me,” said the Serb. “Also because I haven't been here for a while, and the last time here, I had a fantastic experience”.
The World No. 7 said about playing doubles with Erlich - who is retiring this week: “He agreed to play with me! It's the other way around. That’s his last tournament, and I am honoured to be next to him on the court at this time, in front of his crowd in his hometown. Hopefully it won't be just one match; we will try to go as far as possible”.