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“Having my family here has a very positive influence” – Novak Djokovic felt at home in Turin, and it showed
Novak Djokovic was elated to have his wife and two children with him in Turin and he said during the week that it helped him enormously.
This will have been the iconic image of all the post-matches of the ATP Finals 2022: after his satisfying victory, which saw him tie Roger Federer on the all-time ATP Finals title list, Novak Djokovic goes to his box and begins by hugging not his coach or his agent but… his children. Stefan (born in 2014) and Tara (born in 2017) have enjoyed a wonderful week in Turin, and their father, who went undefeated and claimed his 91st ATP title, most certainly has as well.
After beating Andrey Rublev in straight sets earlier in the week, Djokovic expressed pleasure that his daughter had attended a full match for the first time in her life.
An unusual situation for Djokovic
“It’s not something I’m not used to, it’s not something ‘normal,'” he said. “It affected me very positively this week. I have so much fun with my kids on the court, and off the court too of course.“
Djokovic takes nothing for granted, especially in this season of tumult, and more than ever he draws energy from the people he keeps close to him. Having the family in proximity all week clearly has inspired him to dig deep for something special – a treat for them to remember.
“Having my wife and my two children watching me from the first to the last point, I think this is the first time that this has happened,” he said.
“Extremely special for me. I’m very grateful to my wife and my children for coming. I don’t get to have these moments on the tour with them so much, so I of course try to enjoy it as much as I possibly can.
“I took both of my children, particularly my son, a lot to the tennis training sessions, warmups, matches. He was very loud, I must say. I was very surprised. I could hear his voice the entire time. He was very much into it. They both are now aware of what’s going on, what the father is doing.”
“It gives me serenity”
Djokovic says they help take pressure off of him.
“Of course, they make my life on the tour easier. The pressures, the expectations, the tensions that you normally go through on a big tournaments like this, when they’re around, it lowers a bit so I can have that time off, quality time with my family. That really soothes me and gives me serenity in order to recalibrate and play my best tennis the next day.”
It’s not so simple for Djokovic’s wife, Jelena, however.
“It was funny because the other day I had a conversation with my wife,” Djokovic said. “It’s great to have them around. She was like, ‘This is too stressful. She’s been with me for almost 20 years in my professional career. It’s a lot that she has to do with children around, entertain them, at the same time be there for me.
“I don’t know how many tournaments more I’m going to get this opportunity have them all. I cherish these moments a lot. Hopefully, as they grow older, they’ll realize even more what special moments we’re living together.”
The Serb spoke further about his son Stefan, whose passion for tennis is common knowledge. A few days after a press conference at the Rolex Paris Masters, he reconfirmed Stefan’s love for the sport, his environment and for coaching his father.
“Obviously my son playing tennis, he’s eight now, understands what’s going on, understands who’s who. He loves going around, asking for autographs, playing tennis, assisting Goran (Ivanisevic) with the ball pick-up, training me during warm-up sessions and practice sessions when I’m on the court.”