World No.1 Novak Djokovic had little trouble beating Jan-Lennard Struff in the second round of the Tokyo Olympics on Monday. Djokovic won 6-4, 6-3 in just 1 hour and 14 minutes to advance to the round of 16, one step closer to the Golden Slam of the calendar (all four Majors + gold at the Olympics in the same year ).
The Serb is making the most of his time on and off the pitch during his time in Tokyo. He is widely regarded as the most popular figure competing in the Games this year, and several other famous athletes took selfies with him in the Olympic Village.
Novak Djokovic referred to the experience when speaking to reporters after his victory on Monday, and claimed that interacting with other athletes is what makes the Olympics so “special”
“I have a lot of fun on the pitch and I have a lot of fun in the village,” said Djokovic. “For individual athletes like us, it is a very unique experience. It is special for any athlete to be a part of the Olympic Games by representing their own country.”
“There are over 10,000 athletes in the village,” he added. “You walk past them and chat a bit, dine next to them, train next to them, recuperate next to them, talk about life, sports. It’s really something that we don’t. have no opportunity to live at all. “
“The Olympics are the only place where you can feel that team spirit,” Djokovic continued. “This energy that I try to thrive on and use for my performance, and it has worked well so far.”
Novak Djokovic has been turning heads lately, not only because of who he is, but also because of what he is fortunate enough to accomplish this year. Djokovic’s candidacy for the Golden Slam calendar has been buzzing the sports world lately, and the Serbian admitted on Monday that all the attention paid to tennis had made him “very happy”.
“I represent my country and myself, but I also represent tennis,” said Djokovic. “So it’s (the attention) a huge honor, honestly. I’m very happy to see that there is a lot of attention towards tennis players. There are a lot of people who follow tennis and support us. . For me, of course, that gives me good energy to perform well. “
“I’m trying to focus on that,” he added. “I know there’s a lot of follow-up and a lot of expectation. I know the story is on the line, (she) is in my thoughts, it’s in my heart. But I have to keep it pretty simple. for me in order to arrive at the desired destination. “
Novak Djokovic says it was “the right decision” to come to Tokyo
A month ago, Novak Djokovic was reluctant to participate in the Olympics, since no spectators are allowed in the stands. But he finally made the decision to play, much to the delight of his fans.
When asked if he felt compelled to travel to Tokyo due to people’s expectations after his Wimbledon win, Djokovic claimed the decision was based entirely on his mental state.
“I did not allow any pressure from anyone,” Djokovic said. “I actually turned it off; I was with my family and spent three, four days after the Wimbledon final. I didn’t really use my phone much and just needed the time to recover and rejuvenate a bit so that I can have a clear mind for the decision-making process – whether or not I want to come to Tokyo. “
“As I said in London, for me one of the biggest obstacles to coming here was the lack of crowds,” he continued. “I felt like after playing three Olympics it’s not like it was my first Olympics, so I felt like maybe I didn’t know if I wanted to come play in front of the empty stadium. “
“But there were a lot more positives on the other side of things – like what I just spoke about (the experience in the Olympic Village) and of course the representation of my country at the most important sporting event. important to history, ”Djokovic added. “It prevailed, and I’m happy because once I made a decision I was very clear it was the right decision and I’m having a lot of fun here.”
Novak Djokovic is potentially 11 games away (four in Tokyo and seven at the US Open) from finishing the Golden Slam schedule. When asked if he has such a countdown in mind, the Serbian admitted that it is difficult to avoid thinking about the story that is at stake for him at the moment.
“I am very aware of that and I know what is at stake,” said Djokovic. “There are a lot of expectations behind me, especially from Serbia and all the athletes who follow me, and I’m privileged to be in that position to be honest. When you talk about history about the sport you really love, you can’t just be very flat about it. “
I’m emotionally, obviously very motivated and inspired to write the history of my sport, and sport in general, “he added.” But at the same time, it has to be balanced with goals and routines. short term and the ability to be in the moment and only focus on the next challenge and the next game. “
“So it’s a bit of a mix of the two,” continued the 34-year-old. “I have this guiding star that is there and I see it; it gives me light and energy. But at the same time, I have to stick to what I know works well on a daily basis. . “