Thursday, February 22, 2024

“If you want to be No. 1, learn from people that have been in those shoes” – Djokovic elated about youngsters learning from Federer, Nadal & himself

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Novak Djokovic has expressed delight at the young tennis players looking up to the legends of the sport, including Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and himself. The Serb believes that it is important to learn from players who have already proven themselves at the top level.

Djokovic, Federer and Nadal have been dominating the game for about two decades and their influence has become unparalleled. Many young players who rise up the ranks nowadays point to either of the three as their source of inspiration.

Speaking to the press after his second-round win against Tallon Griekspoor at the Dubai Tennis Championships, the World No. 1 emphasized the importance of learning from experienced and well-versed players on tour as the Serb conveyed that even he did the same during his early days.

“I’m sure that the young players in tennis are studying Federer, Nadal, my career, how we go about things on and off the court, what made us successful. That’s what I was doing. I mean, if you really want to be No. 1 in the world, best in your craft, so to say, you need to learn from the people that have been in those shoes,” he stated.

Meanwhile, he observed that each sport is constantly evolving and hence, every other record that the current superstars are setting up, including his, could well be surpassed by better young talents in the upcoming years.

“I’m sure that things that we talk about today, we feel some of the achievements are just not reachable maybe in 10 years’ time or whatever, that we’ll be seeing someone surpassing basketball’s biggest records, or tennis. I would be surprised if that didn’t happen, to be honest, because everything is improving so much,” opined the 35-year-old.

“Everything is evolving, everything is improving; It should be that way” – Novak Djokovic

Dubai Tennis Championships - Day Ten
Dubai Tennis Championships – Day Ten

Novak Djokovic feels that technology has played a huge role in improving the intensity of tennis over time and that it is good for the sport.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion stated that technological evolutions in tennis equipment and analytics, like the development of light-weight racquets and databases, have helped players perform better than in the olden days.

“Everything is evolving, everything is improving. It should be that way. You have the technology that is really different. Tennis not so many years ago was played with a wooden racquet. You’ve had an introduction of so many incredibly enduring but yet very light materials that allow you to swing quicker, to have more control. That’s technology,” he observed.

The 35-year-old believes the future is bound to bring many more innovations to the sport.

“Of course, then the know-how of physical preparation, of recovery, of training, training regimens. Database has grown a lot. I guess more time passes, the more technology is advanced and we are able to get more insights to our tennis,” added the Serb.

In the Dubai-based tournament, Djokovic registered a comprehensive win in straight sets against Griekspoor (6-2, 6-3) on Wednesday. He will face fifth seed Hubert Hurkacz in the quarterfinals at the Aviation Club Tennis Center on Thursday.

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Edited by Siddharth Dhananjay

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