Novak Djokovic, the Serbian tennis player, has been a dominant force in the tennis world, securing great success in Grand Slams and various ATP tournaments. In a recent interview, his childhood coach, Nikola Pilic reflected on Nole’s aspirations as a young boy.
Nikola Pilic who has played an important role in the development of many professional tennis players at his academy, had the current World No.1 Novak Djokovic as one of them during his early days in tennis.
Coach Pilic called five under-15 players to his office, asking them what they wished to achieve.— TRAVEL&Sp🎾rts (@travel__Sports) January 9, 2024
“One said he wanted to be a good tennis player, the second to play in Bundesliga and @DjokerNole said:
– ‘I’d like to be the world No.1!’
The other four laughed. I didn’t." pic.twitter.com/kEyi7KkCht
Pilic remembers an incident when he called five under-15 players to his office and asked about their ambitions. Among them, Djokovic expressed his goal of becoming the best in the world, to which the other players laughed except himself. He mentioned letting Djokovic dream, considering his determination.
“Once he was younger, he said that his goal was to be the best in the world. Everyone laughed at him, but I didn’t. I can’t say if I believed in that, but I let him dream because he had a reason for that.”
-Nikola in an interview with Serbian newspaper Vecernje novosti
36-year-old Novak Djokovic has reached remarkable heights since then, clinching 24 Grand Slam titles, and holding the World No.1 position for 407 weeks, which is the highest by any player.
Nikola Pilic sees a resemblance to Michelangelo’s craft in coaching Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic‘s childhood coach Nikola Pilic has drawn a comparison between his coaching to Michalengelo’s painting of the Sistine Chapel.
In a recent interview with a Serbian daily newspaper, Nikola Pilic expressed the potential he noticed in Djokovic when he came to train as a 13-year-old boy at his academy in Munich, Germany. Pilic mentions Nole’s focus, obedience, and ideas which have taken him to unachievable heights.
He believes that he is among so many tennis coaches across the world, who have been able to produce quality players. He compared his guidance to Michelangelo’s sketching of the church ceiling before he painted.
“I don’t want to compare myself to anyone, but it’s the same as when Michelangelo was painting the church ceiling, and before that, he sketched how it should look all up there.”-Nikola in an interview with Serbian newspaper Vecernje novosti