World No. 1 Novak Djokovic took to the streets of Belgrade to play tennis with local kids in a heartwarming video that has emerged on social media.
Less than a month after winning his eighth Australian Open title, Djokovic was filmed playing tennis with kids on a Belgrade street. Speaking at an event for the Novak Djokovic Foundation this week, the Serbian said these were the sort of moments he would remember.
You have to love this from @DjokerNole ❤
Playing tennis in the streets of Belgrade with some local fans ?pic.twitter.com/nf8sGooovZ
— ATP Tour (@atptour) February 18, 2020
“It was spontaneous, first time I saw someone playing tennis in the neighbourhood,” he said, per Sasa Ozmo of SportKlub. “I saw someone recording, but I didn’t know it’s out there. We marked the lines and I promised them the net. These are the moments one lives for, my heart was full.”
Elaborating more on the theme of love for the sport, Djokovic said he was more focused on enjoying himself on court throughout 2020, rather than the ongoing ‘GOAT’ battle and Grand Slam title count he is currently having with rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
“For me, while everyone talks about trophies, that creates a lot of tension,” Djokovic said.
“I have my goals of course, trophies can make me proud and happy in the moment, but they can’t fulfil me in life.
“My main inspiration is the joy I feel while I am holding a racquet. If that wasn’t the case, I wouldn’t be here. If I don’t nurture that initial love then I can’t be fulfilled.”
Djokovic on definition of success and connection with happines ? pic.twitter.com/9n3acfhHuf
— Saša Ozmo (@ozmo_sasa) February 18, 2020
Djokovic is a flawless 13-0 to start the year, leading Serbia to the inaugural ATP Cup title with a crushing win over Spain and Nadal in the final, while he came back from two-sets-to-one down to conquer Dominic Thiem to win his 17th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open.
As a result, Djokovic returned to No. 1 in the rankings, leapfrogging Nadal – and with minimal points to defend over the next few months, he’s in an excellent position to once again establish himself at the top of the world.
Djokovic also said Olympic success was a big goal in 2020 as he targets a first gold medal.
“I am motivated and inspired to have my best season this year. It is an Olympic year, which means that the schedule will be busy, not just for me, but for all the top players.
“There will be little room for rest after Wimbledon. I had the honour of winning a bronze medal in 2008 and somehow feel that maybe the time has come for another medal, I hope. I will do everything in my power to reach the peak at the Olympics.”
Djokovic is scheduled to return to action next week at the ATP 500 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Federer is also set to compete in Dubai, along with Stefanos Tsitsipas, Roberto Bautista Agut and Gael Monfils.