Exclusive: The Novak Djokovic Interview - 5 Big Quotes

Novaj Djokovic spoke exclusively with NDTV after staying World No. 1 for a record 311 weeks.© NDTV

Novak Djokovic spoke exclusively to NDTV and shared his thoughts on spending 311 weeks as No.1-ranked player on ATP rankings. Djokovic on Monday surpassed Roger Federer to set a new record of spending 311 weeks as World No. 1 on ATP rankings. He also spoke about how he took to tennis in a war-torn Serbia in the 1990s and how fellow contemporaries Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal pushed him throughout his career to succeed and excel. Djokovic won his 18th Grand Slam title and his eighth Australian Open in Melbourne last month. Here are the five big quotes from the interview

1. On spending 311 weeks as World No. 1

“This achievement (to stand by tennis greats) is something that I dreamt of when I was a kid starting to play tennis. It’s a tribute to the love and commitment to the sport.”

2. On growing up in a war-torn Serbia in his formative years

“I think we all go through different hardships in our lives. My journey was not easy, but it made me stronger. We had two different wars in 1990s. Growing up in a war-torn country was a challenge. It definitely made me more hungry to represent my country – to send a message of peace and love and passion and joy.”

3. On the moment he realised he could be a tennis great

“Probably the first ‘aha’ moment when I realised I could be a major contender was my first Grand Slam title in the Australian Open.”

4. On Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal – who’s the bigger rival?

“Those two guys (Federer and Nadal) are the ones who pushed me to be a better player. Both of these guys have been so special in my career. Hard to pick one of them, because I have always had to compete against both of them as they were so dominant and consistent.”


5. On what Indian tennis players and kids can learn from Novak Djokovic

“Kids need to fall in love with the sport, otherwise they will feel burdened. I still feel the same excitement of holding the tennis racket as I did when I was 4-5 years old.”

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