In a press conference at the BNP Paribas Open, Novak Djokovic was asked what have been the key decisions he has taken in his career so far The Belgrade native did not definitely have an ideal childhood having faced the war in Serbia.
Djokovic said: "I think different stages of my career had different, I think, circumstances and people that have affected me in a positive way that have helped me get to where I am today. I think I was very fortunate to have the opportunity very early in my career to work with quality people that are, first of all, people that cared about me, of course, other than my family.
You mentioned Jelena Gencic and Niki Pilic. Those are the people that have devoted their entire lives to tennis, people that know a lot about tennis, and they recognized my talent and my potential, and they were willing to help support me and my family because obviously economics at those times were a great challenge and an issue for us.
But they, you know, they also worked free of charge, you know, for a long time because they just believed in my talent and that I will become a world-class tennis player one day. So, you know, from the very early stages of my career, I had that fortune to be surrounded with those people.
And then, of course, as an individual athlete, you know, you go through phases of your career and your development where you just sometimes have to react and sometimes you have to plan in advance." He also added, "I think that what was very big for me, and my dad helped me a lot with that, was the preparation and always aiming for the best quality output and best quality environment and surrounding, always very stimulative environment, the environment which allows me to maximize my potential.
And that's why I think I went early to Germany, as well, when I was 12, and going back to school and using school breaks to spend time in Germany. That was probably one of the best decisions, but it was made not only from my side.
It was from my parents and Jelena Gencic at the time that was in a very good relationship with Niki Pilic in whose academy I went for the first time when I was 12-and-a-half. So I'd say those milestones in life have definitely shaped my career."