Djokovic snaps back at retirement query and hints life events take priority

Djokovic snaps back at retirement query and hints life events take priority

Novak Djokovic has insisted that he is not slowing down despite skipping several tournaments and playing a reduced schedule this year. The world No. 1 has an 11-4 record for the season and has not reached a final, let alone won a title. Although he rubbished the idea that he was edging towards retirement, he explained that it was important to focus on his loved ones and his journey.

Djokovic’s 2024 season has gotten off to an uncharacteristic start. He suffered his first losses in Australia since 2018, failing to lift the trophy at Melbourne Park. His only tournaments this year have been the United Cup, Australian Open, Indian Wells and Monte-Carlo Masters.

The 36-year-old was set to compete at the Masters 1000 events in Miami and Madrid but pulled out of both for unusual reasons. In Miami, Djokovic said he was “balancing [his] private and professional schedule” and in Madrid, his withdrawal went down as non-medical grounds.

With the 24-time Major champion now playing less and less, there have been concerns that his career could be decelerating. But Djokovic recently told CNN that he has no plans to slow down, even if he wants to focus on the people around him. “I feel like it’s so important to always remind yourself to be in the present moment, really to appreciate, to acknowledge, to remember where you came from, the journey, the path, also the people that surround you,” he said.

“Every single week there’s something new happening and new events. So I think I will truly be able to appreciate everything that we have accomplished really, only post-career, to be honest.”

Although Djokovic has opted to compete in fewer tournaments, he explained that he was always focused on the next opportunity in the tennis calendar. The Serb continued: “Because while you’re still active … it’s what’s the next task? What’s the next challenge? You have only maybe a few days or a week max where you’re contemplating on a great success.”

One opportunity that Djokovic is eager to take will come at the French Open, where he could become the first player in all-time tennis history to win a record 25th Grand Slam title. A three-time champion at Roland Garros, he is already visualising himself with the trophy.

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