Fatherhood the secret of Djokovic's recent success

Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:49am EDT
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By Pritha Sarkar

LONDON (Reuters) - Armed with what Goran Ivanisevic calls a "Balkan mentality" and "positive arrogance", Novak Djokovic replaced the heartbreak of losing the French Open with the joy of hoisting the Wimbledon trophy in the space of just five weeks.

That "positive arrogance" has made Djokovic a formidable athlete who, rather than being distracted by the joys of married life and fatherhood, has become a human winning machine who keeps showing up come finals day.

In fact since the birth of his son Stefan last October, the world number one has lost only three of 61 matches and collected eight titles, including the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

"Ever since I got married and became a father, I haven't lost many matches, I won many tournaments. I suggest that to every player, Get married, have kids, let's enjoy this," a beaming Djokovic said as he celebrated his first wedding anniversary by winning his third Wimbledon title.

He lifted the gold trophy after a 7-6(1) 6-7(10) 6-4 6-3 victory over second-seeded Swiss great Roger Federer.

Whereas top players once put off having a family because they thought it would ruin their focus, Djokovic's settled off-court life means he does not spend too much time dwelling on disappointments and can quickly focus on the task ahead.

It certainly helped him overcome the utter despair he felt after his hopes of completing his collection of grand slam titles were dashed in last month's French Open final by Stan Wawrinka.

"If there is one thing that I learned it is to recover fast and to leave things behind me and move on," the 28-year-old Serbian said after he became the oldest man in the professional era to win nine grand slam titles.   Continued...

Novak Djokovic of Serbia shows off the trophy after winning his Men's Singles Final match against Roger Federer of Switzerland at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, July 12, 2015. REUTERS/Toby Melville