"I'm focused on Grand Slams and Olympics this year" - Djokovic admits to finding it difficult to stay motivated at smaller tournaments

Friday, 31 May 2024 at 03:00
Although Novak Djokovic stands alone with 24 Grand Slam singles titles to his name, the Serbian would like to add more to his already impressive tally. It therefore comes as no surprise that the World No.1 has shifted his focus to performing well at Grand Slam events, as he begins to wind down his career.
The 37-year old has made sparse appearances on tour this season, competing at only four events between the Australian Open and Roland Garros. Djokovic is yet to win a title this year, and even suffered some shocking losses along the way.
In an interview after his second round Roland Garros win, Djokovic was asked whether his motivation to perform at his best level differed based on the tournaments he played.
"Your motivation when you're at Grand Slams seems as strong as ever," asked a journalist. "I just wanted to know what it's like when it's down weeks when you're training sometimes. Does the motivation still burn as strong as ever? Are there ever moments where you're struggling a little to keep it going?"
The defending Roland Garros champion responded by stating he found it hard to motivated to be at the top during regular ATP tournaments. Furthermore, Djokovic admitted to being focused on competing at Grand Slam events and the upcoming Olympic Games.
"Well, I've said it recently that I did struggle with motivation on a constant basis, so to say, to always have that motivation l've had for more than 20-whatever years of professional tennis," replied the Serbian. "I knew the moment is going to arrive sooner or later where l'm just going to, you know, have off weeks, so to say, where I'm struggling to push myself or deliver what needs to be delivered on the court.
"But, you know, in terms of my commitment to the practice weeks and practice sessions, that hasn't gone down, to be honest. Whatever my team and I agree on and whatever they want me to do, I do it. I show up every day on practice courts and gym and whatever I need to do fitness-wise, mental preparation, whatever it takes.
"But it's true that I'm focused pretty much solely on Grand Slams and Olympics this year, and playing for my country, really. That's something that really drives me the most today. The other tournaments, of course, it's not maybe sounding right, but these are huge tournaments, very important tournaments, tournaments that are part of the ATP Tour that I was part of and still am part of, of course, so many years, and have been integral part of my career and my success. But yeah, it is becoming a little bit more challenging for me to push myself every single tournament to be really at the top."

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