3 August 2016. RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
Djokovic was speaking at a press conference alongside fellow members of the Serbian Olympic team, including twice Olympic bronze medallist in water polo, Zivko Gocic, and basketball players Milos Teodosic and Sonja Petrovic.
“Everything happens in life for a reason, and I think that extra week [after losing] in Wimbledon allowed me to regroup, mentally, physically and emotionally, and spend some quality time with my family and think about something else, and obviously get ready and be prepared better for what’s coming up.”
Of his return to form in Canada last week, Djokovic said, “I couldn’t ask for a better start to the hard court season, obviously hard court being my most preferred surface.”
“Toronto was a great week, no sets lost, and I’m ready. I’m really very much looking forward to the Olympic Games, it’s one of the goals of the season of course, not just for me but for all the people sitting at this table and so we’re very excited about it.”
“It would be probably ranked as one of the highest, or the highest achievement of my career that I would have potentially,” said Djokovic. “But again, I’ve got to stay humble, I’ve got to take a very cautious mindset in preparation to this Olympic Games. I’ve had bronze from Beijing, in London I fell short, but again I always play with my heart and all I have when I play for my country.”
Djokovic won his bronze medal at Beijing as a 21-year-old with one Grand Slam title to his name, beating James Blake in the bronze medal play-off. Much more was expected of him in London four years later, but he lost in the semifinals to eventual Olympic champion Andy Murray and then fell in the play-off to Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro.
Now a global sporting superstar, Djokovic knows how important winning gold will be to Serbia. But he never forgets that just taking part is important too. “Once in every four years you get to experience an incredible unity of all sports… 10,000 people in the Village, and everyone’s working out, dining together ,so it’s truly something special and I always look forward to being part of it.”
source: rio.itftennis.com; gettyimages