Novak Djokovic, the 24-time Grand Slam champion, recently spoke about the challenges of balancing his professional tennis career with fatherhood. Following his exit from the Australian Open in the semifinals against Jannik Sinner, Djokovic reflected on the sacrifices he makes while traveling the world for tournaments and being away from his children as they grow up.
At 36 years old, Djokovic has adjusted his schedule in recent years to prioritize spending time with his family. He has notably reduced his participation in tournaments below the Masters 1000 level and occasionally opts out of events to minimize time away from his home. Last season, he chose to skip tournaments like Shanghai and Canada to give time to his family.
Djokovic, popularly known as “Nole”, has always been committed to being present during his off-court competition periods, often seen with his children. However, he acknowledged the difficulty of missing significant moments in their lives due to his tennis commitments. He shared a personal example of missing his daughter’s milestone when her first tooth fell out, highlighting the emotional toll of being away from his family.
“I do struggle with that more and more as time goes on, Australia is a long trip, probably the longest one we have in the entire year. My son is 9, my daughter is 6, every day, every week they change. My daughter’s first tooth fell out and I wasn’t there for that, but at the same time, it’s all about balance.”-Novak Djokovic in an interview
Djokovic has opted not to participate in any tournaments during February and will instead make his return to competitive tennis during the ‘sunshine double’, which includes events in Indian Wells and the Miami Open.
Novak Djokovic reflects with pride on his remarkable tennis career
Novak Djokovic recently reflected on his extraordinary achievements in tennis, acknowledging his remarkable feats in 2023, which included winning three Grand Slam titles, his 40th Masters 1000 title, his seventh ATP Finals title, and his eighth year as World No.1 ranking.
Despite his dominant form, he fell short of his 25th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, losing in the semifinals to eventual champion Jannik Sinner.
During a recent appearance on The Today Show in Melbourne, Djokovic discussed his reputation for being difficult to defeat, citing a Serbian saying about resilience. He acknowledged his extraordinary accomplishments but emphasized that he wasn’t boasting, but rather reminding himself to appreciate his journey.
“In the end of the day, how many tennis players are able to do the things that I’ve done and I’ve achieved. I’m not saying this to praise myself, I’m saying this to remind myself of, ‘Hey, pinch yourself, look where you are and look what you’ve done.’ At the same time, I feel like it’s one chapter of my life, there are more chapters to come.”-Novak Djokovic in the interview