Novak Djokovic: 'I think that’s impossible for me anymore'

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Novak Djokovic: 'I think that’s impossible for me anymore'

Despite having won a lot in 2020, Novak Djokovic ended up in the eye of the storm this year due to some extra-tennis behavior. In addition to having remedied a resounding disqualification at the US Open for a shot against a line judge, the world number 1 was harshly criticized for the organization of the Adria Tour and for the decision to found the new PTPA by resigning as prime minister of the players.

Many have wondered if all these thoughts did not distract him from his goals on the pitch. The 17-time Grand Slam champion has already secured the mathematical certainty of ending the season at the top of the ATP rankings for the sixth time in his career, equaling the record of his idol Pete Sampras.

Thanks to the new ranking system, the Serbian phenomenon has an excellent chance of breaking even the record of weeks at number 1 held by Roger Federer.

Djokovic on balancing the various interests in his life

“Whether I should focus on tennis and nothing else, I think that’s impossible for me anymore,” Novak Djokovic said in a recent interview.

“I’m not at this stage of my life anymore. I have things happening in my life and can’t neglect that and think only about winning a tennis trophy and breaking records without thinking about my kids, family and other things.

I’m fine balancing that. Because I’ve played tennis since four, so more or less every single day for almost 30 years of my life, I think I’ve mastered improving specific areas of my game. I find it easier to improve on a tennis court, although I’m still training to be a better husband and father, I’m still young at that,” Djokovic said.

Novak Djokovic is a five-time champion at the Nitto ATP Finals, which begins in London on Sunday. “When I draw a line under the season as year-end No. 1 and winning four tournaments and having been unbeaten for a while, of course, whatever I do here, that’s amazing,” Djokovic said.

“But I do still look for more than that. Having had plenty of success in the past is a huge incentive, but also it can be a burden, as you always expect nothing less from yourself. I’ve had plenty of success in London.

I feel good about myself, but it’s still a long way to get my hands on the trophy. I don’t think about age as an issue for me, maybe that I have a year or two or three left in me to fight for more Slams. Sure, I have to be a bit more strategic from next season with creating my calendar, which tournaments I want to prioritise and where I want to peak," Novak Djokovic said.

"But as long as the desire is there, I’m healthy and I have the support of my family, I’ll keep on playing. I don’t see it as an obligation, it’s not a financial issue or anything like that, I just still enjoy it and want to compete at the highest level.

As long as I feel like that, I’ll be here a long time. I don’t want to put an expiry date on me yet," the Serb added.