“Pinnacle Moment of My Career”: Novak Djokovic Reveals When He Couldn’t Motivate Himself on Tennis Court

Published 05/12/2021, 3:45 AM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 16, 2021 Serbian’s Novak Djokovic during his quarter final match against Germany’s Alexander Zverev REUTERS/Loren Elliott


Winning a Career Grand Slam is one of the most demanding achievements in tennis. To attain it, a player must win all four major tournaments – Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open at least once in their career. And one of the few to succeed at this is the current World No. 1, Novak Djokovic.

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However, glory did not come overnight for the Serbian. Before completing his Career Grand Slam, the 33-year-old had failed three times at French Open.

Thus, when he finally won it, the moment had a profound impact on the 18-time Grand Slam champion. In a recent interview, he opened up on the drastic shift in his mindset after winning his career Grand Slam.

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Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 11, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his second round match against Taylor Fritz of the U.S. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane
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Novak Djokovic suffered a loss of motivation after winning his career Grand Slam

The Serbian ace revealed that his determination hadn’t stopped despite three French Open final losses. Djokovic lost to arch-rival Rafael Nadal in 2012 and 2014 and to three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka in 2015.

“I came up short against Nadal and Wawrinka chasing career Slam, but I was always motivated,” Djokovic said.

Post his loss to Wawrinka, the fortune of the Serbian sky-rocketed as he went on to create history.

After the 2015 French Open final, Novak Djokovic won the 2015 Wimbledon, the 2015 US Open, the 2016 Australian Open, and the 2016 French Open. This phenomenon is also famously known as the Nole Slam.

However, glory does not come without taking something in return. In the case of the Serbian ace, it took away his competitive spirit. Novak revealed, “When I won in 2016, that was the pinnacle moment of my career, best 15 months of my career. Then I had trouble motivating myself, which never happened to me before.”

But things have now been restored, and he is as passionate about winning major tournaments as ever.

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Currently, Djokovic is playing as the top seed at the ongoing Italian Open 2021. After verbal drama in his opening match, the Serbian beat American Taylor Fritz 6-3, 7-6(5) and is through to the next round.

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PARIS, FRANCE – MAY 31: Novak Djokovic of Serbia walks back onto court following a rain delay during the Men’s Singles fourth round match against Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain on day ten of the 2016 French Open at Roland Garros on May 31, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Most significantly, Djokovic will aim to become the most Grand Slam titles winner. For that reason, he is mentally and physically preparing for the French Open 2021, which starts on May 30.

The Serbian is also the defending champion at the Italian Open, and this is a title he would love to retain. He will face either of the two qualifiers, Cameron Norrie or Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

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Do you think Djokovic can stop Rafael Nadal at French Open?

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Purav Joshi

1114 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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