“Always Find Extra Motivation”: Novak Djokovic Reveals What Playing the Olympics Means For Him

Published 04/17/2021, 1:30 PM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Monte Carlo Masters – Monte-Carlo Country Club, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France – April 14, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his second round match against Italy’s Jannik Sinner REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

World No.1 Novak Djokovic has revealed what it means for him to represent his country at the highest stage – Olympics. The reigning Australian Open champion will yet again be carrying a burden of expectations into the Summer Games and will be his country’s best hope for gold.


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In an old clip shot ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which was later postponed to this year due to concerns around the Covid-19 pandemic, the Serb says how much he enjoys playing for the flag.

The Serb, who recently broke Roger Federer’s record for the highest number of weeks at No.1, is yet to land a Gold medal at the Olympics. His best, to date, is the singles Bronze in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.


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Novak Djokovic says he is still chasing his dream of winning an Olympic Gold

Djokovic said like every single athlete out there, the Olympics remains a special event for him as it happens once every four years.

“I always enjoy playing at (the) Olympic games. Always enjoy representing my country in both the Davis Cup and the Olympic games obviously. You don’t get too many opportunities to play Olympic games as they happen every four years,” he said.

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 09: Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates defeating Gael Monfils of France with a score of 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 during their Men’s Singles Semifinal Match on Day Twelve of the 2016 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 9, 2016, in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

The 33 -year-old, who is currently at 18 career Grand Slam titles, just two short of his Big-3 rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, said though winning the singles Bronze in 2008 remains a career highlight, clinching the yellow metal is the ultimate dream.

“It is one of the dreams, of course. I don’t want to be ungrateful for winning bronze because that was also good success,” Djokovic said.

Novak Djokovic lost out following his semi-final defeat to Juan Martin del Potro at the 2012 London Olympics

Djokovic recalled his agonizing semi-final defeat to former World No.3 Juan Martin del Potro in the 2012 London Olympics.

“I played semis in London and lost there, for third place, as well,” the Serb said.

However, he said the disappointments took nothing away from the motivation that he feels every time he goes out to compete for his homeland.


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“I always find extra motivation to perform at my best when I’m representing the country and, especially at the Olympic games as we all know it’s the most historical sports event,” Djokovic said.


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The Serb would hope Tokyo is the stage for him to finally realize his long-held dream.


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.