Novak Djokovic opens up on his humble beginnings and his growing wealth
Novak Djokovic will claim the biggest cash prize in tennis if he beats Casper Ruud in Sunday’s ATP Finals championship match in Turin.
The Serbian struggled physically in his final group match against Daniil Medvedev on Friday evening but went into the semi-finals as the only unbeaten singles player and battled to a 7-6 (5) 7-6 (6) victory over American Fritz.
Djokovic looked uncomfortable at times but stepped up when it mattered, threading a forehand down the line to take the opening set and then fighting back from 5-3 down in the second.
The 35-year-old won four successive titles between 2012 and 2015 to close to within one of his great rival Federer but has not managed to lift the trophy since.
“Of course, people can see how much we are earning,” said Djokovic.
“What the media is not writing about is all the taxes and also the other expenses, but that’s fine.
“I cannot sit here and talk about money as an issue in my life or anything like that. I’ve been very blessed and lucky. It comes as a consequence of my tennis and the success that I’ve had, along with my family and my team.
“I think that every euro that I’ve earned was through hard sweat and tears. I don’t take anything for granted because I know how it feels like having zero on the table, five family members, war and sanctions.
“Let’s not forget where I come from, in which kind of era I was growing up I know exactly the opposite side, which helps me in life I think to appreciate everything I earn more.”
Djokovic will draw level with Roger Federer’s record of six wins at the ATP Finals if he wins on Sunday and he is relishing the chance to make more history.
“I’m aware of this record,” he added. “Making history of this sport is always a big motivational factor for me.
“I mean, 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.”
ATP top 10 prize-money earners in 2022: Novak Djokovic leads the way as Nick Kyrgios cracks top 10
Your ATP top 10 prize-money earners in 2022.
Rafael Nadal confirms one event that he will skip in 2023 as cool images emerge from exhibition match
Rafael Nadal won’t defend one of his titles in 2023.
Bianca Andreescu finally ‘in tune with herself’ and hopes to use tennis ‘to help inspire others’
Bianca Andreescu feeling the love on and off the court.
Canada worthy Davis Cup winners as lucky losers, wildcards and substitutes all part of tennis history
Oh, Canada! Enjoy your Davis Cup win.
Ashleigh Barty ‘honoured’ as she battles Nick Kyrgios for prestigious Australian tennis award
Who is your Australian tennis player of the year?
Rafael Nadal says Big Three rivalry with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic key to their longevity
Rafael Nadal says Big Three rivalry has taken them to “extreme mental and tennis levels”.
Judy Murray the latest to be accused of accepting ‘sportswashing role in Saudi Arabia’
Judy Murray urged “to use the opportunity to speak out and show solidarity”.
Fernando Verdasco’s voluntary doping suspension opens a can of worms in tennis
The use of Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) in tennis questioned.
Carlos Alcaraz, Holger Rune and Jack Draper in the running for two ATP Awards
Your nominees for the 2022 ATP Awards.
Mom-to-be Angelique Kerber eyes comeback and hopes to be an inspiration for new moms and women
Angelique Kerber reveals her comeback plan.