It has been a family affair for Novak Djokovic this week at the Nitto ATP Finals, where his wife Jelena and children Stefan and Tara are supporting the Serbian in Turin.
With a semi-final spot on the line at the prestigious year-end event on Wednesday, the Serbian put on a show for his son and daughter, who cheered their father to victory against Andrey Rublev.
“I think it is probably the first match that both my daughter and son, and of course my wife, have watched the entire match from the first to the last minute,” Djokovic said. “We played for just over an hour. It is so great to have them. For me, that is one of the biggest motivational factors that I have right now competing at the highest level. Having them courtside, watching and celebrating, hopefully with me.”
Djokovic’s son Stefan grabbed the spotlight earlier this year at Wimbledon when he showed off his skills on the practice court alongside his dad and coach Goran Ivanisevic. The former World No. 1 revealed that Stefan has loved the opportunity to spend time on Tour again this week in Turin.
“My son is playing tennis, he’s eight years old now and he’s aware of what is happening, who is who,” Djokovic said. “He just loves going around, getting signatures, playing some tennis, assisting Goran with the ball picking, then coaching on the warmup sessions and training sessions when I’m on the court.
“He loves to be around and for him this is a unique experience and for my daughter, of course, and for me. I am really grateful to have them around.”
Back in 2008, a then-21-year-old Djokovic captured his first title at the Nitto ATP Finals when he triumphed in Shanghai. Fourteen years on and the Serbian is aiming to tie Roger Federer’s record six Nitto ATP Finals titles at year-end event.
“Making history in this sport is always a big motivational factor for me,” Djokovic said earlier this week. “It doesn’t maybe necessarily affect the whole approach to the specific match because I’m experienced enough and I know myself well and what I need to do in order to prepare for my next challenge and next opponent.
“But of course I’m aware of the possibility to make history again. It is a great pleasure and honour to be in that position. So it does motivate me and inspire me to play even better tennis.”
If Djokovic needed any extra motivation to move level with Federer, his children look to set to provide that in Turin.
Leave a Reply