“It Is the Way It Is”: Novak Djokovic Says He Owes His ‘Emotional Behavior’ to His Father

Published 03/17/2021, 1:56 PM EDT
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 28: Novak Djokovic of Serbia complains during his Men’s Singles Quarterfinal match against Milos Raonic of Canada on day nine of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 28, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Serbian tennis superstar Novak Djokovic has revealed the force and inspiration behind his honest and sincere approach to his life as well as tennis.


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Appearing in a podcast with wellness guru Chervin Jafariyeh, Djokovic said he owes his approach as well as his deeply spiritual side to his “parents” and the way they raised him.

He added that he was taught to believe very early in life that each and every person is born with a “predetermined mission” and he was perhaps destined to become a tennis player and break new grounds in the game.


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Novak Djokovic describes his father as an “expressive” person who “doesn’t hold anything in himself”

The Serb, who clinched a record ninth Australian Open title this year, taking his career tally of Grand Slam trophies to 18, said that a lot of what he is and how he is is down to his father.

He described his father as an “expressive” person who “doesn’t hold anything in himself”.

The Serb added that be it good things or bad, his father never shies away from letting his feelings known.

BELGRADE, SERBIA – JUNE 14: Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts after the match against Alexander Zverev of Germany at the Adria Tour charity exhibition hosted by Novak Djokovic on June 14, 2020 in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)

“I think that I drew a lot of my own emotional behavior and expressions from him,” Djokovic said, adding that he saw plenty of that in his house and in the way he was brought up.

When Novak Djokovic’s expressive ways got him into controversies

As precise and forthright with words as he is with his tennis, the Serb is known to speak his mind about issues involving the game, even at the risk of criticism and polarized opinions.

He stepped down as president of the ATP Player Council last year, alleging the body didn’t have a strong enough voice to speak up on issues affecting players.

Later, on the sidelines of the season-ending ATP Finals in London, the Serb claimed though he had been re-nominated by the players to return to the Council, the ATP had brought in an overnight rule change to keep him out.

The claim did not help his already tenuous ties with the governing body of men’s tennis.


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Again, in the run-up to the Australian Open, Djokovic drew flak in the media over a letter he wrote to Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley, seeking an easing of certain lockdown rules. He later clarified that he was seeking the relaxations for players under hard lockdown and not for himself.

On his expressive and forthright self, Djokovic said, “It’s not always great and it’s not always bad. It is the way it is.”


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The Serb is currently out of action as he is recovering from an abdominal muscle tear that he suffered during the Australian Open.


Priyabrata Chowdhury

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Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.