Novak Djokovic as a tennis player is largely flawless. When fit, like he is now, he seems almost unstoppable every time he steps on to the court.
However, as a person, the picture is a lot less straightforward. After months of controversy surrounding his stance on vaccinations and the Adria Tour mishaps, the Serb was disqualified from the US Open after hitting a lineswoman with the ball.
It was far from an intentional act, but Novak Djokovic's tendency to act out in fits of rage was widely denounced.
Since then, Novak Djokovic has been continuously probed in his post-match press conferences about his personality and the possible scope for improvement. And that happened again after the Serb’s win over Karen Khachanov in the fourth round of the 2020 French Open.
Novak Djokovic, as he usually does, gave a very elaborate response about how he perceives his professional and personal life. He further highlighted that having fun and getting frustrated, despite being opposite emotions, were very much possible during a match.
Novak Djokovic believes in keeping his professional and private life at the same level
It is often believed that celebrated sportspersons of Novak Djokovic’s stature have totally separate lives on and off the field. However, the Serb believes that living two separate lives is a ‘really hard’ thing to do.
“Look I am not a person who likes to separate the professional and private life and say that I am a completely different person on the tennis court and in my private life,” Djokovic said. “I think that's really hard to do.”
Despite being one of the greatest tennis players and sportspersons of all time, Novak Djokovic does not differentiate people's lives based on their fame. The Serb thinks that an individual is always the same no matter what situation they are in.
“I mean, I don't believe in that kind of assessment,” Djokovic said. “I think you know you're always the same person whether you're on the court, off the court, in your bed, or wherever you are.”
Anger - as evidenced by his recent act at the US Open - is an emotion that comes naturally to Novak Djokovic, like it does for many other athletes. The Serb has very lofty goals for his career, and even the slightest of setbacks tends to frustrate him when on the court.
For Novak Djokovic, all of it is a ‘learning curve’. He opined that even though professionalism is necessary while playing, emotions can fluctuate throughout any given match.
“So it's all a learning curve really,” Djokovic added. “Of course, on the court, you kind of put your professional face on and try to win a tennis match and you know its serious stuff. Sometimes you have fun with it, sometimes you get frustrated.”
Novak Djokovic then asserted that the tennis court remains the best place for him to develop his personality and character.
“At the end of the day, for me, the court still represents the place where I am able to grow my personality the most, and you know, my character,” Djokovic said.Published 06 Oct 2020, 16:50 IST