Novak Djokovic felt flattered hearing John Millman's praise for him after the Tokyo Open final on Sunday. The Serb said: “I was very pleasantly surprised and touched with his words. It was very nice of him to say something like that.
I try to be humble and live in the present, even though, of course, I do understand that there’s going to be a time when I’m not going to play tennis anymore and the future generations will hopefully remember and talk about me in a positive way and the legacy and the impact that I left behind on this sport can be and I hope to be positive on these guys”.
On how he motivates himself, the 16-time Grand Slam winner said: “The main source of motivation has to come from inside, rather than external. You play a tournament and you play a match, but that’s probably 10 per cent, maybe 20 per cent of your entire year of playing tennis.
Everything else is practice. So you need daily motivation that comes intrinsically and that guides you and moves you when you need to be moved, so to say, when you need to be inspired to go out and play with the good spirit.
I respect obviously when people say, ‘work hard’, but I’m more for this approach where you work hard, but you bring good spirit into it, you enjoy it. If you do something that you don’t love, it really makes it really difficult to do it in the long run.
I have been playing tennis all my life basically and competing in professional tennis for more than 15 years, so I still plan to play for many more years and hopefully, I can be healthy and have the heart, mind, and soul aligned for this to happen”.