Novak Djokovic is vying to become the strongest player of all time. The Serbian champion, which is younger than Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, has already put 17 Grand Slams on the bulletin board and is not so far from Federer's record of weeks at the top of the ATP ranking.
The World number 1 has shown an extraordinary ability in managing delicate moments, losing only 34 of the 113 finals played in the major circuit. Nole has succeeded in the sensational feat of canceling many match points in his career, including the two canceled to Roger Federer in the 2019 Wimbledon final.
In a recent interview with Graham Bensinger, Djokovic explained that he trained his mind to resist in the moments of more tension.
Djokovic on his mindset
"Consciously breathing first," answered Novak Djokovic. "That's probably the simplest thing that you can do, and the most effective.
The experience of being in these situations so many times before, in my career, helps me every next time that I have to face the adversity and the distractions, including my thoughts, 'what ifs' and fears. Everyone goes through that thought process," Djokovic added.
"I don't think it is particularly bad. I used to think it is bad, which is why I was trying to shut it down. The major transformation in a positive way started for me when I was starting to acknowledge it and accept it as a part of me.
My fear is there, my ego is there. But then, how will I address it in a way that will help me overcome it and transform it into a positive fuel," he went on. "I practice a lot of mindfulness. Meditation, journaling, talking with my team, my parents my wife.
Trying to address certain emotional issues or traumas with my life coaches, spiritual guides. When I'm facing a match point or break point, they do tend to surface but I manage to gain control over them much quicker. I manage to impose my positive affirmations or if I can't do it, I accept that it's going to happen in that moment.
I focus on my breathing and the moment. Then [I focus] on what needs to be done in the next moment, which is playing the right shot, positioning myself well on the court and execution. That's much easier said than done and anyone who plays the sport at the highest level to understand that.
It takes years of devoted practice, mentally. Not just physically. And you have to do it – you can't expect others to really fix your emotional or mental issues. They can encourage, empower and understand you. They can give you tools. But you have to use those tools and do it the right way," he finished.