Novak Djokovic was very close to hanging the racket in 2018. This was confessed by his wife Jelena Djokovic in an interview in 'In Depth with Graham Bensinger', where he revealed that the Serbian tennis player, current number one in the ATP ranking, thought about making this decision after a bad streak of results.
The episode in which Djokovic thought about his retirement took place after the Serb's defeat to Benoit Paire in the second round of the 2018 Miami Masters 1,000 in two sets, and after a difficult start to the season after falling in the round of 16 of the Australian Open against Hyeon Chung in three sets and in the second round of Indian Wells against Taro Daniel.
Djokovic, who started the season after a nearly six-month hiatus to recover from an elbow injury, gathered his team in the locker room and made this confession to them that his wife revealed. “After losing in Miami, a terrible loss, he said he wanted to quit tennis. It's the truth. He called us together and said, 'It's over.' I said, 'What?' and he continued saying: 'Eduardo (his agent), you can tell my sponsors, I want to be clear with them. I don't know if I will retire for six months, a year or forever. Just tell him “Jelena commented. “It was like 'you can't leave it' while we cried and said to him 'What are you doing? This is not the time,'” said the tennis player's wife, who also commented on the moment when Djokovic wanted to completely disconnect from tennis. “We took vacations and one day, while we were playing, he decided he didn't want to play tennis, he didn't want to see tennis, he didn't want anything to do with tennis”.
However, Jelena and her son Stefan were very important when Djokovic regained his passion for tennis. “I love tennis and I take the kids with me to play. On the third or fourth day of this break he saw me because I found an old tennis machine that I was starting to like and I started playing against it because I didn't have a coach while Stefan (his son) was picking up the balls. It is a training that he is not used to because it is very serious and competitive. I wanted him to enjoy himself and not feel the pressure. Fortunately He saw how we were having fun and then he came out without shoes, without a shirt and only in panatlon and he said to us 'Can you give me a racket, please?' And I said 'no, you're not playing anymore, you quit tennis, so leave the court.' Of course I was kidding him and then Stefan said 'Okay dad, it's your turn now' and then He hit some balls, he started to serve and he didn't feel bad, and then I said, 'Can I play with you? and we started playing a little with our son, “said the tennis player's wife.
In the return of Novak Djokovic after this downturn, his lifelong coach, Marjan Vajda, also played an important role. “On the last day he appeared dressed ready to play and told me: 'Do you know what I am going to do? I am going to call Marjan (Vajda) because he is my coach. I am going to ask him to come back and be my entertainer again. It was like 'what are you saying to me?' after 10 days in which I felt I was not going to play again, “confessed Jelena.
Jelena Djokovic also revealed her husband's desire to return to the circuit as soon as possible and how this took its toll, although she highlighted the great recovery capacity of her husband. “He had come from a year in which he had undergone surgery and he tried to return. He rushed since he did not find the results. Everyone told him to slow down and he did not do it because he hoped to recover, but he began to lose, and lose, and to lose… He is not a good loser but he was like a phoenix, he found the motivation and had to fall completely to rebuild himself amazingly. “