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Novak Djokovic encourages children to dream big, says he lifted cardboard & plastic trophies as a kid

Novak Djokovic with the 2020 Australian Open Men
Novak Djokovic with the 2020 Australian Open Men's Trophy in Melbourne, Australia
Modified 22 Oct 2020, 13:31 IST

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic believes children should be encouraged to dream and follow their passion no matter how unrealistic or ridiculous it may seem. The 17-time Slam champion credits the start of his tennis journey to his imagination during his younger days, where he would innocently lift cardboard and plastic trophies in joy.

Novak Djokovic was speaking on a motivational show in Serbia, where he emphasized the importance of encouraging children early on.

"I think that every child, whatever he wants to become, should always dream, imagine," Djokovic said. "It helps move them towards the realization of those dreams. I had improvised trophies made of cardboard, plastic. I lifted those trophies, that brought me where I am today."

In the video, the 33-year-old also spoke about the importance of having the right attitude. Djokovic believes it is his never-say-die attitude that has helped him bounce back several times in his career.

"When you think that the ship is sinking, that there is no way out, I somehow find a way to return," the Serb said.

You don't need to be a successful person to make your voice heard: Novak Djokovic

 Novak Djokovic at the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters in April, 2015
 Novak Djokovic at the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters in April, 2015

Novak Djokovic went on to talk about what he believes is the best way to represent Serbia on the international stage. He added that everyone can do their bit, irrespective of the position that they are in.

"I believe that Serbia can offer a lot," Djokovic said. "People need to understand that you do not need to be a successful person to make your voice heard. Everyone should do as much as they can and what their capabilities are at the moment."

Novak Djokovic is currently in Serbia and will be back on tour next week to compete at the ATP Erste Bank Open in Vienna.

The Serbian champion has decided not to play the Paris Masters this year, but will compete at the season-ending ATP Finals in London. He hopes to end the season as World No. 1 for a the sixth time and tie the record with Pete Sampras.

Djokovic has a stunning 37-2 record this year. He won his 17th Major at the Australian Open, and also clinched the ATP Cup, the Dubai ATP event, the Cincinnati Masters and the Rome Masters.

His only losses have been at the two most recent Grand Slams - in the fourth round of the US Open and in the final of the French Open (where he lost to Rafael Nadal).

Published 22 Oct 2020, 13:15 IST
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