Novak Djokovic made it clear once again that he had no plans whatsoever to retire just yet, adding that it was a topic he simply did not think too much about. As much as the Serb enjoyed being part of Roger Federer's farewell ceremony at the 2022 Laver Cup and was happy to say goodbye to a modern-day legend, Djokovic declared that he had a long way to go before he got there himself.
Speaking in a recent interview with Telegraf, the 21-time Grand Slam champion recalled how Federer was lucky enough to have his colleagues alongside him during his final tournament, adding that he hoped to go out the same way.
"I'm not close to retirement, I don't want to think too much about it. Roger had a beautiful send-off at the Laver Cup in London. We were all there, with his family, to say goodbye to him at a magnificent event in a magnificent arena," Djokovic said. "It must have been special for him and there is no doubt that he deserved it. One thing I know is that I will definitely want my great rivals to come and say goodbye to me."
In Federer's case, there were a lot of tears at the ceremony, with all his fellow players, fans, his family and even the Swiss maestro himself shedding tears as the realization that he will never play another competitive match again hit them. When asked who would cry the most in his own retirement ceremony, Djokovic declared that it would most likely be his mother Dijana.
"My mother for sure," he said.
The former World No. 1 also touched on his triumph at the Tel Aviv Open last week, where he beat Marin Cilic in straight sets in the final to win his third title of the year and 89th title overall. He admitted that he was far too concerned with playing well on the court after his long break, his last tournament prior to Tel Aviv being Wimbledon, and that he did not have time to go sightseeing as usual.
At the same time, the 35-year-old added that he enjoyed his time in the Israeli town, revealing that he walked around the city and took a little time to learn about its history.
"I played a lot of tennis this week, that's what I wanted and why I came to Israel," Djokovic said. "I didn't have time to go sightseeing to be honest, but I enjoyed the beach, I spent at least an hour there every day, I jogged, I rode my bike, I swam... I walked around the old town a bit and saw a bit of history."
"I will definitely come back here, not for a tennis tournament but as a tourist" - Novak Djokovic on visiting Israel in the future
Novak Djokovic further added in the interview that he had every plan to visit Israel in the future, even if he had to do it as a tourist. The Serb was chuffed with the response he got during his stint in the country, remarking that he was grateful to enjoy the hospitality offered to him by the people of Tel Aviv.
"I was in Jerusalem a long time ago, I am familiar with the country, I will definitely come back here, not for a tennis tournament but as a tourist, to travel around the country and feel Israel, but also to thank all the people for the treatment I received here this week," Djokovic said. "I am grateful for that and for the connection I made with the people of Tel Aviv."