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.
Djokovic: “No. 1 is not my priority anymore. I’m no longer thinking about the number of titles. If they come, super, I will accept them.” pic.twitter.com/jHrWa3T69u
— Tennis Photos (@tennis_photos) September 30, 2016
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.