Novak Djokovic’s bid for Wimbledon title No. 8 and Grand Slam trophy No. 24.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic takes part in a practice session ahead of the Wimbledon tennis championships at Wimbledon, in London, Sunday, July 2, 2023. The Wimbledon Tennis championships start on July 3. | Photo Credit: AP

Hear Novak Djokovic’s opponents explain why he is as successful as he is — why he will begin his pursuit of a fifth straight and eighth overall championship at Wimbledon on Monday; why he’ll also try to claim an Open era-record 24th Grand Slam trophy in the coming two weeks on the grass courts of the All England Club — and they’ll offer plenty of answers.

His best-in-the-game return of serve. His dangerous two-handed backhand. His elasticity. His endurance. His defense. His ability to read other people’s intentions, get where the ball is going and send it back with force, a combination that Casper Ruud described this way after losing to Djokovic in the French Open final: it just becomes a wall.”

Listen to Novak Djokovic explain why he has done what he has done and why, at the age of 36, he is still doing it, and he will offer a reason that is less visible and less visible, something he mentions in his victory speech at Roland Garros a few weeks ago.

“I try to visualize every single thing in my life and not only believe it, but really feel it in every cell in my body. And I just want to send a message to every young person out there: Be in the present moment; forget about what happened in the past; the future is something that just happens,” Djokovic said. “But if you want a good future, create it. Take the path into your hands. Believe it. Create it.” Speaking that day about his own hopes and dreams as a 7-year-old boy, Djokovic mentioned two main goals: to get to No. 1 and win Wimbledon.

He became No. 1 more weeks than any other man or woman in the half-century of computerized rankings. Now he will try to overtake even Roger Federer by achieving the title of No. 8 in the oldest of four Grand Slam tennis tournaments. Djokovic is one ahead of the injured Rafael Nadal — and three ahead of the retired Federer — for the most singles majors won by a man, with 23.

“Those two guys,” said Djokovic, who faced Argentina’s Pedro Cachin on Center Court on Monday, “have been very much on my mind for the last 15 years.”

Her 23 is the same number Serena Williams ended her career with last season; only Margaret Court, who won 24 in both the amateur and professional seasons, has more.

“The goal is Grand Slams. I don’t know how many, but I think he still has a lot in his body,” said Djokovic’s coach, Goran Ivanisevic. “It’s fun to watch, because sometimes you think, OK, now you have 23.’ But he’ll find, again, some kind of motivation to win 24, maybe 25. Who knows where the end is?”

Entering the 2011 season, the so-called Big Three’s Slam standings were as follows: Federer with 16, Nadal with nine, Djokovic with one.

After winning his initial major title at the 2008 Australian Open, Djokovic went through an 11-major span in which four of the losses came against Federer or Nadal in the semifinal or final.

He lost a bit of self-confidence.

“That’s when I really doubted myself, whether I could do it or not, because you were far but you fell at the last hurdle,” said Djokovic. “The more times you fall, the more you question everything, you know what I mean?”

And yet, with the same courage he uses on a court — “The mental strength he has is incredible,” said his Paris first-round opponent Aleksandar Kovacevic — Djokovic dug away court and find ways to improve. And still doing that, which is part of why most people consider him, and not the No. 1 seed Carlos Alcaraz, is the favorite as Djokovic continues his pursuit of a man’s first calendar year Grand Slam since Rod Laver in 1969.

“The thing you have to admire about him is that he’s very clear about what he wants to achieve — trying to get that Grand Slam record. When he put himself in a position to do that, he delivered,” said Andy Murray, who won two of his three major titles at Wimbledon. “He doesn’t seem nervous or overthinking it or any of those things. Yes, he went and did it. It shows the strength of character he has.”

So where did this belief come from?

Djokovic points to several factors: his upbringing during the war and embargo in Serbia in the 1990s; his parents (“95-plus% of people … laugh at them, and encourage them to spend whatever is left of the family budget on an expensive sport,” he says); his first coach and “mother of tennis,” Jelena Gencic; and a future coach and “father of tennis,” Niki Pilic.

All have helped him grow as an athlete and person.

When he was 7 or 8, Djokovic said, Gencic would show him video of the best male and female tennis players. He also taught her “the importance of relaxing and listening to classical music, reading poetry, singing, and reading, breathing consciously and so on.” His mother, he said, “was a rock,” and his father “instilled in me such a power of belief and positive thinking.” That, as much as any particular shot or talent, is why, Djokovic says, “Every day, I’m the best on the court.” That’s why he won 11 of the last 20 Grand Slam tournaments.

And this is why he wants to continue.

“I don’t feel more relaxed, to be honest. I still feel hungry for success, for more Grand Slams, more victories in tennis. As long as there’s that drive, I know that I’m able to compete at the highest level,” said Djokovic. “A few days after Roland Garros, I was already thinking about the preparation for grass and what needs to be done.”

Dr Ahsan Khan

Dr Ahsan Khan is Content Writer for Sports section on He is very Passionate about sports tournament, Games Activity, Current Affairs etc. Contact: [email protected]

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