Djokovic draws inspiration from Ronaldo

By Vy Anh   May 17, 2024 | 08:22 pm PT
Djokovic draws inspiration from Ronaldo
Novak Djokovic during a tennis match. Photo by AFP
The world's number one tennis player Novak Djokovic sees Cristiano Ronaldo as a role model for a professional athlete, who desires success and has an excellent mentality.

On the podcast of Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios, Djokovic said he admires many veteran sports stars, such as LeBron James, Tom Brady, Serena Williams and Cristiano Ronaldo.

"I identify with Tom Brady as well. And Serena is first of all, the incredible mind of a champion, just incredible hunger for success, for improvement. Cristiano Ronaldo is also like that," Djokovic said.

"But just willing on a daily basis. To take your body, your mind, your character, your emotions, to a different level. To be a better version every single day. And to crush the borders and limits that everyone imposes on you."

Djokovic affirmed that he still desires to win major titles, especially Grand Slams and an Olympic gold. The Serbian tennis star holds the record for most Grand Slams in history with 24 titles, but still missing the Olympic gold medal.

"I don't want to talk about the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) of tennis," Djokovic replied when Kyrgios asked if he was the greatest player in tennis history.

"This debate is interesting because it brings more attention to tennis. But I don't have an opinion on this, I leave that to others. I respect all great players, all champions in previous generations."

Djokovic believes that he is a player who is not good at controlling his emotions like his rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

"I'm not satisfied with my younger self because back then I used to destroy my racket, scream, and look like a clown on the court," said the 36-year-old tennis star.

"Until now, I have not been able to change that personality even though I have moderated it. For nearly 10 years, I have learned to accept that sometimes I will make mistakes. I tried to become a better version of myself in many aspects."

Djokovic is preparing for Roland Garros which starts later this month. He must defend this Grand Slam, but is not in good form, as he has failed to reach a final since the 2023 ATP Finals.

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