Novak Djokovic, in a recent interview, talked about his desires and plans going into his 22nd year as a professional tennis player. He also shared that he wants to devote more time to his family.
Djokovic has been at the top of the Tennis world for over a decade. But, time is passing swiftly for the 36-year-old player. The Serbian is a father of two and has a family that needs his time as well. Divided by his two desires, the Serb faces a dilemma.
The 36-year-old enjoyed a vastly successful 2023 campaign, winning several titles, including three of the four Majors and the Nitto ATP Finals. However, winning comes at a sacrifice. For Novak, the sacrifice isn’t just personal, it includes his family as well. While the Serb travels over the world competing in various competitions, he sheds family time with his wife and kids.
In a recent interview with Sport Klub, Novak Djokovic shared his ambitions, conflicting with his thoughts for his family. He mentioned that family time has become increasingly appealing to him as he moves towards the twilight of his tennis career.
“To be honest, I’m kind of divided, there’s always a part of me that is a young boy who just adores tennis and knows only about tennis and devoted his entire life to tennis and that boy still wants to keep going.”
“And then, on the other side, I’m the father of two children, and I’m away from my family, and every time I travel for an extended period of time it breaks my heart. So I’m always thinking about, how long should I play, how many tournaments should I play, is it worth it?”
Djokovic said that he still feels like he is in his prime and can compete with the very best. But, he contrasted it by saying that he will prioritize ‘moments’ with his children more than competing at every single tournament.
“I’m still hungry, I still want to compete, I still can run for hours, thankfully, but it’s more of an emotional aspect. It’s more of like, ‘What is the priority?’ Tennis has been the priority for 30 years, and I don’t want to miss out on too many moments with my children.”
“I don’t want to leave this sport if I’m still at the top”, Novak Djokovic downplays retirement talks and draws inspiration from Tom Brady.
Novak Djokovic has no intentions of retiring anytime soon and wants to prolong his career as he moves into his 40s. He drew parallels with NFL legend Tom Brady, who is infamous for being successful even in the later stages of his career.
Tom Brady recently announced his retirement from American Football after enjoying a two-decade-long career with the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers winning 7 rings in the process. His career lasted for 23 seasons, and he retired at the age of 45.
Novak Djokovic praised the former Buccaneers QB for his incredible fitness and training regiment. He wants to follow and emulate the same career trajectory as Brady i.e. Dominating the field even at the age of 40. The World No. 1 told the Saudi reporters about his role model.
“Tom Brady is a great example of a champion in his sport and someone that has had such a great career and longevity.”
“He has put a lot of hours and a lot of time into self-care, into recovery, into making sure that in a way every aspect of his body and mind is covered so that he can have a long-lasting, successful career. I know him personally, and I learned a lot from him, from his example, and hopefully I can have a career that goes up to 40 or maybe even beyond—let’s see.”