Djokovic: “No. 1 is not my priority anymore. I’m no longer thinking about the number of titles.”


Some interesting revelations from Djokovic today at his press conference in Belgrade where he is training after deciding not to go to Beijing. It is obvious that all the talk of records has taken an emotional toll on him and that he is not enjoying the sport as he used to.

Enjoyment is, after all, the most important thing so it is good to see he has his priorities straight. Djokovic doubled his slam titles from 6 to 12 in a question of two years so it is hardly surprising that there was so much talk of records.

It’s been probably the most dominant run in tennis history and he is obviously feeling the pressure. There has been a lot of talk about a decline of late which shows you how high he set the bar because he is still the holder of 9 out of the 14 biggest titles in tennis, including two grand slams and the World Tour Finals.

Since when is that decline? It is mostly the hopes of people who want to see him decline. Maybe Djokovic is just giving those people some false hope by acting like he is not as motivated as he was before?

I don’t think so. I genuinely believe that he is feeling pressure and that he wants to get back to enjoying tennis again. It is totally the right attitude to have. Breaking records and trying to fulfill expectations should definitely not come before having fun.

That is indeed a recipe for burnout and failure. So, in the end, I don’t see anything too surprising here and I think Djokovic is absolutely doing the right and smart thing. If you enjoy what you are doing the rest will come by itself.

It is all about priorities and Djokovic is spot on in my opinion. He has already reached huge goals like winning the French Open, completing the personal slam, and getting into the GOAT debate. It only makes sense that he should have less pressure now, not more.



How do you feel about these new revelations?

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  1. I do believe that he’s thinking in right direction. So many success in relatively short period has had it tools on his life, both professional and private, and built a tremendous pressure on him. Higher and higher expectations from us, his fans , only helped to increase that pressure and trying to get rid of it is the right attitude.
    It’s not going to be easy for him for it’s never easy to change that much, but if he succeeds it will help him to be even better player.
    I am certainly one of his fans who have hoped that he’ll break all records but if it could be achieved only on costs of his enjoyment of play or on(and) his private life, then I’ll be glad with only the titles and records he already achieved.
    This because he’s so nice person and unique character in this sport, not appreciated for it as much as he should be, so he deserves to become happy again. And, I’m sure that he’ll be winning more titles soon enough, too.


    Ru-an Reply:

    I’m also one of the fans that want to see him breaks all the records Petar but like you say the most important thing is that he should enjoy tennis. Otherwise, it is all rather pointless even for me as a fan. When he enjoys himself is when he will play his best tennis anyway so it goes together.

    You are right about the success in a short period as I mentioned in my post too. No one in history has probably risen faster and it is only to be expected that expectations and pressure increases. Therefore it is very important to have the right outlook or things can go wrong very quickly.

    I also think that the pressure of the French Open could not really be avoided. But now that he won it he can sort of relax and change his outlook. I think he is on the right path.


  2. Ruan,
    I don’t want to sound pessimitic but in men tennis those who hold the 4 grand slam trophy simultaneously seem to have some sort of jinx. In 1962, after winning the 4 trophies, he was bar from competing. Then in 1969, again after winning the 4 majors he didn’t win anymore.
    I don’t know whether this will happen to Novak or not. That’s is why Roger & Rafa never achieve this even though Roger was close several times – to avoid the JINK.
    However Don Budge who won 6 consecutive is the exception; but that was way way back before WW2.


    Ru-an Reply:

    Hi Mike, I doubt Roger and Rafa consciously avoided winning four consecutive to avoid the jinx. And I’m pretty sure Djokovic will win more slams. Not that it matters. It’s now just about enjoyment 👍


  3. This is not a slam on him but I really believe this is true. I think all of the success and adulation, which is of prime importance to him, got to his head and caused him to mess up in his personal life. This caused him immediate negative consequences and disharmony in all aspects of his life, which he is working hard to fix. I think he’s trying to get back to the utterly perfect conditions that he built over his lifetime to create harmony and success. Look at his and his wife’s social media lately. He’s trying to show her, tell the world, and remind himself what’s truly important to him. Love. Of his family and of his sport. This guy is so smart and so deep. He understands the big picture and is re-solidifying his infrastructure for success. I’m not worried about him at all and I never stop learning from this great champion of tennis and life. I also have to add that once again it goes to show just how incredible Fed’s long long long career and life management have been and I bet Nole has noticed that as well. Nole has absorbed and perfected everything he’s seen his early mentors/rivals do and he will do it again very quickly.


    Ru-an Reply:

    Could be, Eric. Just happy he has sorted it out and is now the right path.


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