Tommy Haas thinks Novak Djokovic is an inspiring individual in many ways as he applauded the Serb's astonishing longevity and the challenges and adversity he endured en route to becoming an all-time great. At 36, Djokovic is still dominating in tennis and achieving the biggest possible success.
What Djokovic is doing at 36 is quite remarkable as never before in men's tennis a 36-year-old player made the final in all four Grand Slams in the same season. But before the astonishing success, Djokovic experienced a war and his goal was just to make it in tennis and give his family a better life.
"People know how hard it is to get to the top of the world in this sport, especially now that good people are playing longer. Pete Sampras and Boris Becker retired at 30, but Djokovic at 36 is hungry like a teenager, that's his mentality.
When he tells stories about how he grew up during the war and dreamed of giving his family a better life… you can't learn that, you either have it or you don't," Haas told tennismagazin.de.
Haas applauds Djokovic's longevity, success
At this year's US Open, Djokovic became the first-ever male player with 24 Grand Slams.
Following his latest Grand Slam success, Djokovic reflected on his path to becoming an absolute legend and giant of the sport. "I mean, that was already, you know, incredibly high ambition for someone coming from a family with no tennis tradition, for a boy in Serbia going through sanctions and embargo, war-torn country, and being part of the very expensive and unaffordable, unaccessible sport.
The odds were pretty much against me and my family, but, you know, we did it. I say 'we,' because I owe a lot to my family, to my parents who sacrificed so much for me to be here. And that’s not a cliché. I really mean it.
It was extremely, extremely difficult with lots of adversities that they had to face and atrocities that when you think about it, you know, the last thing you want to think about is supporting maybe your child in expensive sport.
It was more about bringing the bread to the kitchen table, you know, at that point," Djokovic said after winning the US Open.
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