Novak Djokovic talks about the sadness of being away from his wife and kids as he struggled through injury to win his 22nd grand slam title at the Australian Open
- Djokovic lost his No. 1 ranking after missing last year’s Aussie and US Open
- He bounced back and won the Australian Open on Sunday night to make history
- It’s been a tough road back to the top as he juggles tennis and family life
Family may be the only thing holding tennis star Novak Djokovic back, with the Serbian star admitting it’s becoming increasingly difficult to be away from his wife and kids for extended periods of time.
Djokovic reclaimed his title as world No. 1 after winning a record 10th Australian Open in Sunday night’s final against Stefanos Tsitsipas, also tying with Rafael Nadal on 22 grand slam titles.
Djokovic roars after winning the 2023 Australian Open and reclaiming his mantle as the world’s best tennis player – but the win was tinged with sadness
Novak with his wife Jelena Djokovic. He credits her support for helping him chase his tennis dreams all over the world
The Djokovic family, including children Stefan and Tara, enjoy some time together during a rare break in their father’s hectic tennis schedule
It was an emotional win after being deported from Australia in 2022, banned from the US Open and upset in the Paris Masters final by young Gun Holger Rune.
The Serbian star broke down after the win as emotions overflowed.
Now fans are asking how much longer the 35-year-old can hold on, with just one more grand slam title needed to become the all-time greatest in the slam era.
In an ominous warning to rival players, Djokovic said he feels mentally and physically ready to continue playing.
A SNAPSHOT OF NOVAK’S GREATNESS
Djokovic with the Australian Open trophy
Djokovic’s victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas was a record 10th Australian Open title. It also means he will tie with Rafael Nadal on 22 career slams and restore his ranking as world No. 1
He is the only player to spend 373 weeks as world No. 1 on the ATP Tour and the only player to finish in 1st place for 7 years.
Djokovic is the only man to win 37 ATP Masters titles
He is also the only man to win all Masters titles at least twice, joining Nadal as the only man to win all four grand slams twice.
“I feel physically that I can still hold and maintain the top level physically,” he said.
“So as long as that’s the case, why not continue?”
But the world No. 1 admits he doesn’t know how long that motivation will stay with him due to the constant pressures of parenthood.
Djokovic is a proud father of Stefan, 7, and Tara, 4.
His family didn’t make the trip to Australia this time around and Djokovic admits being separated from his loved ones could be a determining factor when it comes to his retirement.
“I don’t know when the end of my professional career will come,” he said.
Djokovic breaks with his supporters after Australian Open win that meant so much after he was evicted in 2022 and also banned from participating in US Open
“Right now I have the motivation, I have the support of those close to me, which is also something that is probably underestimated and maybe not talked about much, but it’s a key, especially as a father.
‘Being away from the kids is not something that makes me very happy. It’s a balancing act between me and my wife and the closest people in my life.
“So having her there for our kids and stuff, I can do what I love and still make big strides in this sport.”
However, fans of the tennis superstar need not worry about him retiring soon as Djokovic said motivation is still as strong as ever.
‘Of course I have professional goals and ambitions. That are grand slams and number 1 in the world,” he said.
“Those two likely pinnacles of the professional tennis world have always been goals for me. So no doubt I want to write more history of this sport.’