“That’s Why I Succeeded in the End”: Novak Djokovic Quotes Michael Jordan After Wimbledon Glory

Published 07/12/2021, 11:00 AM EDT
Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 11, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his final match against Italy’s Matteo Berrettini Pool via REUTERS/Peter Nicholls


The tennis fraternity ran out of superlatives to describe Novak Djokovic when he clinched a record-equaling 20th Grand Slam title at the 2021 Wimbledon Championships. The Serbian machine defeated Matteo Berrettini to lift a historic sixth trophy at the All England Club.

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“I could definitely envisage that happening,” said the supremely confident Djokovic at the presentation ceremony, when asked if his next target is achieving the Career Grand Slam at the US Open, a feat no man has accomplished since Rod Laver in 1969.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 11, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during his final match against Italy’s Matteo Berrettini REUTERS/Toby Melville

Novak Djokovic cites the example of NBA legend

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During the post-match press conference, a journalist asked Djokovic about his thought process in the pressure moments since the tennis star is renowned for his rock-solid mental fortitude.

In reply, the 34-year-old emphasized the importance of staying in the present rather than being constantly divided between the past and the future, which ultimately creates pressure.

The humble champion mentioned he also struggled in the decisive moments in many instances but considers himself fortunate to have performed incredibly during tense situations at the most important tournaments.

“I’ve been very fortunate to be so strong in the decisive moments of the biggest tournaments throughout my career, but I also lost quite a bit of Grand Slam finals where I felt I was close to winning but then I folded,” said Djokovic.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 11, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates with the trophy after winning his final match against Italy’s Matteo Berrettini REUTERS/Toby Melville

Explaining coping with pressure is a learning process, Djokovic quoted lines spoken by NBA legend, Michael Jordan, to stress on the power of consistently practicing.

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“So as Micheal Jordon used to say – I failed, failed, I failed, that’s why I succeeded in the end,” added Djokovic, as he took a leaf out of the iconic basketball player’s life.

With the incredible title win, Djokovic has equaled his arch-rivals, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, in the Grand Slam race. With each of the Big-3 standing at 20 major championships, the upcoming US Open would decide who would race ahead of the pack.

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For now, Djokovic’s next mission is clinching the singles gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, a rare feat missing from his already extraordinary career.

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Kshitij Tayal

429 articles

Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

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