Djokovic looks forward to life as a dad

Sat Aug 23, 2014 4:27pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic has had so-so results in the run-up to the U.S. Open, but the world number one is not concerned. In fact, he is riding high as a newly-wed and a soon-to-be father.

The 27-year-old Serb tied the knot with his childhood sweetheart Jelena Ristic four days after winning the Wimbledon trophy last month and with fatherhood looming he knows his life will be forever changed.

"Without a doubt, life changes. You know, priorities change," Djokovic told reporters on Saturday ahead of Monday's start of the U.S. Open, the last grand slam of the season.

"My priorities, my family, my wife, my future kid. You know, tennis is not definitely not number one anymore."

That is not to say the seven-times grand slam winner is taking his tennis lightly. The proud champion, who thrives on the hard court, aims to make the most of the prime years ahead of him.

"I'm feeling better and better as the days go by. Obviously I want to peak with my form in the U.S. Open," said Djokovic, who has reached the U.S. final four years in a row, claiming the title in 2011.

"I have high expectations for myself. Especially at this stage of my career where I feel like now is the time that I'm at my peak physical strength," he said. "I want to use this time of my career as much as I can to win as many matches as possible."

The hard court maestro, an Australian Open winner four times on the surface, has understandably not been his usually laser-focused self following a five-set triumph over Roger Federer at Wimbledon and then leaving bachelorhood behind.   Continued...

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates defeating Roger Federer of Switzerland in their men's singles final tennis match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London July 6, 2014.               REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett