Novak Djokovic is in full swing to achieve the 'Calendar Golden Slam' this year, as the number 1 ATP has also targeted the gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympics. The Serbian champion took the title at both the Australian Open and Roland Garros, where he inflicted his third career defeat on Rafael Nadal.
The 34-year-old from Belgrade is also the main favorite at Wimbledon, being the winner of the last two editions. Everyone will remember Nole’s feat two years ago, when he canceled two match points in response in the historic final against Roger Federer.
Despite all his successes on the tennis court, Djokovic continues to remain a character who divides fans and public opinion. During the third round match against Denis Kudla, Novak's outrageous shouts prompted the Wimbledon crowd to take the side of the American outsider.
Certainly not unusual for the 19-time Grand Slam champion. At a press conference, the # 1 seed revealed the secret of his ferocious mentality.
Novak Djokovic on his childhood
Coming from a humble background, Novak Djokovic also spent his childhood fighting for survival.
He believes it is this very fighting attitude that has made him the great he is today. “Failure was never an option for me or anyone in my family. We needed to find the basic needs to survive. That’s strengthened my character”, the Serbian emphasized.
As the crowd chuckled, Novak quickly replied, “I’m not kidding,” further explaining what drives him to want more in life. Resonating with the wild, the defending Wimbledon Champion seeks an uncanny resemblance with wolves.
“I do feel that that determination, that tenacity. You know, wolves are very instinctual, they rely heavily on instincts. “So, I see a lot of corresponding character traits. so to say, from my side to the wolves,” he said.
“I feel like wolves are my spiritual guide”. Novak Djokovic's nearest competitor - Roger Federer - is at the twilight of his career and is unlikely to play for more than a year or two. Given that Federer is a shadow of his former self coupled with the fact that he too is selective with his events, it will be practically impossible for him to get past Djokovic's tally.
Rafael Nadal, however, could do better than the Swiss if his health permits him to. The Spaniard turned 35 this year, and looks set to continue playing for another three or four years. While the ultimate ‘G.O.A.T’ of tennis remains a topic of debate and debacle, it is clear that there is only one ‘Wolf’ here.
And unlike his wild counterparts, he doesn’t hunt in a pack; his name is Novak Djokovic and if anything, he hunts the pack.