Novak Djokovic reflects on how to increase the number of players

Novak Djokovic advanced to the Wimbledon last 16

by Simone Brugnoli
Novak Djokovic reflects on how to increase the number of players
© Mike Hewitt / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Current World number two Novak Djokovic advanced to the Wimbledon last 16 after beating Australian Alexei Popyrin with a final score of 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, and 7-6 (3) in three hours and five minutes of action, a record win for the Serbian, who reaches this instance by 16° occasion in his career, matching the mark of Jimmy Connors and leaving two of Roger Federer, the player who more times reached to be among the 16 best of Wimbledon in 18 opportunities.

Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon 2024
Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon 2024© Mike Hewitt / Staff - Getty Images Sport

The oceanic tennis player went out to enjoy, knew that he had nothing to lose and in the Central Court released his blows to threaten the continuity of the Balkan in the tournament. Popyrin hit first, took the first run, but the 24 Grand Slams champion responded to the challenge and raised his game level, imposed his baggage and pulled another game forward in the Cathedral of tennis.

Novak Djokovic defeated Alexei Popyrin

During the press conference, 24-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic reflected on the future of tennis: "We must, beyond the Slams, understand how to attract a young audience.

In a way, tennis is in a great position, but at the same time I think that both circuits need to improve in terms of growth of our sport. Slams will always be good. We are lucky to be a global and historic sport.

Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon 2008
Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon 2008© Clive Brunskill / Staff- Getty Images Sport

One of the studies conducted by the PTPA three years ago showed that tennis is the third/fourth most popular sport in the world. However, when it comes to business opportunities and how to take advantage of such popularity, tennis is ranked ninth or tenth on the list.

There is a huge growth space". And Djokovic gives an example: "We have to increase the number of players who live in this sport. Very rarely do I see articles in the press saying that there are only about 350 or 400 players, men, women, singular and doubles, who make a living with this sport.

For me it’s something of concern. Let’s talk a lot about the Slam winner taking this and that. The focus is always on the grand prize. And the base? Tennis is a global sport, loved by millions of children who want to pick up a racket and play. However, we do not make it accessible. It is not so convenient, especially in countries like mine".

Novak Djokovic Wimbledon