In an interview to Laureus Sports Awards, Jelena Djokovic recalled when her husband Novak decided to undergo elbow surgery after the 2018 Australian Open. "To do the surgery it was something against his core values", said Jelena.
"It was really huge. It's like he buried one part of him with that decision. Then he went to Indian Wells and he lost his match there. He had a good run in Rome and then he went to the Roland Garros. And he lost, he said: "I am done, I am not playing tennis anymore.
I lost this. I am not having fun anymore" He lost trust in himself, he called me and he said: "I don't see the purpose of me playing tennis unless you guys are there. And I rememeber feeling after that match: "Oh wow, he is back"
It's only the journey of belief, cuz you gotta go all there and trusting your body, trusting all your weapons, everything you have practiced." Djokovic said: "Reflecting on the journey it seems like a fairytale story but it tells me one thing and that's that in those moments of when you are facing adversity and when you are challenged you should always look inside because that's where the answer lies.
I did not understand that fully, I heard that before but when I I went through that journey I understood what it means and now I know where I can find strength and belief and motivation to keep me going. A Laureus Award is what every athlete wants to win, and this one is a huge honour for me.
Being among so many sporting greats here tonight… gives this award a special meaning for me. Last year was an incredible season for me. Returning from injury to win Wimbledon and the US Open is something I’ll remember forever”.