Novak Djokovic opens up on how he wants to be remembered when his career ends
Novak Djokovic was in a reflective mood as he faced the media after his comeback win against Kei Nishikori at the US Open.
The world No 1 battled to a 17th consecutive victory over Kei Nishikori to keep his bid for the Calendar Grand Slam on track.
Not since a semi-final win over the Serbian in New York in 2014 had Nishikori got the better of Djokovic, and he won just two games at the Olympics in Tokyo earlier this summer.
The Japanese player won the first set in Arthur Ashe Stadium to threaten a huge upset but Djokovic roared his way to a 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 victory and a place in the fourth round.
After the match, he opened up on how he wants to be remembered by the tennis world when his days as the world’s leading player are over.
“I would like people, particularly my peers, the fellow tennis players, both men’s and women’s side, to remember me as someone that first of all left his heart out on the court and has inspired maybe players to get better and to improve and to believe in themselves more,” declared Djokovic.
“I’m very passionate about children and early childhood education. My foundation is really focused on the last 15 years. That’s something | would like to be remembered for, of course.
“Also, someone that really tries to live up to the true values of life: respecting and being grateful, appreciating the moment, appreciating the fact that I’m playing the sport that | truly love and I’m very successful in. Not many probably people around the world could say that maybe they are the best in the world in what they love to do.
“I try to not take anything for granted. Sometimes it’s difficult to take a step back and observe things from a different perspective once you’re in the, so to say, game. You’re touring, you’re traveling nonstop, what’s the next challenge, what’s the next tournament you have to win, what’s the next goal to achieve.
“It’s really hard to comprehend sometimes life from a bird’s eye perspective from me in terms of tennis, because I’m so involved right now on the court and there are so many things I want to achieve still on the court.
“All in all, I would love to leave the legacy first of all that is a good human being, someone that people respect as a person, that has good character, and of course then after a tennis player. For me those things are more important than results.”
They were passionate words that will resonate with Djokovic’s fans around the world, who are all dreaming that next week will witness his coronation as the first player to win a Calendar Grand Slam since Rod Laver in 1969.
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