During the Laureus Sports Awards, Novak Djokovic admitted he had considered retiring from tennis. The Serb went very tough times and, as his coach Marian Vajda said multiple times, his lowest point was the French Open quarter-final loss to Marco Cecchinato.
"Yes, I did think about leaving tennis," said the 15-time Grand Slam winner. "At that moment, I did feel like I let myself down when I had surgery. I did not find myself in a good balance. It took me several months to find that purpose and meaning again.
This award reflects and symbolizes this journey that was not 12 months long but three years long back in 2016 Roland Garros when I achieved probably the ultimate goal in tennis - holding the four Grand Slam titles at the same time.
I felt a huge relief, I did not feel fulfillment, to be honest. I tried to understand why and I think it was because I didn't embrace or I did not live the process and the journey as much as I needed or wanted that destination or achievement of that goal.
So when I actually reached, I realized that the goal would be nothing without that journey and then I understood the concept of philosophy of life for being present and being in now because that's where the power lies."
The 31-year-old finally thanked his wife Jelena: "I think you have done it much better than I would do it and your support has been tremendously significant to me in those moments." Now, the world no. 1 has a chance of completing the non-calendar Grand Slam again at the French Open, after winning three Slams on the trot, in Wimbledon and the US Open in 2018, and the Australian Open in 2019.