Novak Djokovic rules out retirement: 'Still have passion and hunger to play'

Novak Djokovic said he's “feeling good and happy that injuries are now behind” him. It is allowing the 38-time ATP Masters 1000 title-winner to play his best tennis.

FP Sports September 30, 2022 14:18:44 IST
Novak Djokovic rules out retirement: 'Still have passion and hunger to play'

Novak Djokovic is competing in a tournament for the first time since winning Wimbledon for his 21st major. AP

Tel Aviv, Israel: Novak Djokovic witnessed one of his rivals, Roger Federer, play out his last career match at the Laver Cup. The Serb, 35, is not looking to head in the same direction.

“I still want to play tennis even though I achieved pretty much everything that you can achieve in tennis,” Djokovic said before beating Pablo Andujar in Tel Aviv. “I still have passion and hunger to play at a highest professional level.”

Speaking about bidding farewell to Federer at the Laver Cup last week, 21-time major champion said, “I have a massive respect for Roger, and to what he had contributed to our sport. He had an epic career, he can be proud of it. He’s one of the most recognised athletes of all time. His retirement is a sad moment for tennis.”

“I was committed to play at Laver Cup and I also wanted to play for three weeks in a row, so Tel Aviv was a perfect choice for me,” Djokovic said. “Also because I haven’t been here for a while and the last time here I had a fantastic experience.”

‘Nole’ is playing his first tournament since winning Wimbledon. Unvaccinated Djokovic missed the North American hardcourt swing and the US Open due to the restrictions imposed on travellers who haven’t taken the COVID-19 shot.

Djokovic said he is “feeling good and happy that injuries are now behind” him. It is allowing the 38-time ATP Masters 1000 title-winner to fully focus on playing his best tennis.

“There isn’t one secret or one key that solves all the problems. It’s a combination of things that are part of your character: who you are, how you train, what’s your lifestyle. It all creates the image of success,” Djokovic said. “That formula [has] worked for me. But I also try some new things, because I always want to progress. Especially when you have guys like [Carlos] Alcaraz, who is full of power and adrenaline. So you always have to figure out how to improve and take yourself to a higher level.”

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