Djokovic focused on Wimbledon defense but sees bigger picture

Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:08am EDT
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - On court Novak Djokovic is taking tennis to extraordinary new levels with his single-minded obsession with winning; off it the Serbian is more than happy to share power.

The 29-year-old will begin his attempt to win a fourth Wimbledon title on Monday when he plays British wildcard James Ward on Centre Court -- 12 months after claiming a second successive title by beating Roger Federer.

While nothing will distract him from that goal, the dominant Serbian also knows that, however big the gap is between himself and his rivals -- and it is a yawning chasm -- no player is bigger than the sport.

At his pre-tournament news conference at Wimbledon on Sunday, the world number one confirmed he had re-joined the 12-man ATP Players' Council, along with chief rival Andy Murray and Murray's brother Jamie, the world's top doubles player.

It is a responsibility Djokovic will apply himself to with the same devotion as his career for the next two years as tennis wrestles with the kind of doping and corruption scandals that have afflicted world sport.

"I've been very flattered and humbled to be elected by my colleagues," Djokovic told reporters.

"The way I see it is that I managed to gain trust from players, which is very important to me. I have been part of the Player Council for three years earlier in my career. I've been familiar with the way the system works.

"I'm hoping I can contribute to the evolution and to the betterment of our sport in every aspect."   Continued...

Tennis - French Open Mens Singles Final match - Roland Garros - Novak Djokovic of Serbia vs Andy Murray of Britain - Paris, France - 05/06/16. Novak Djokovic returns the ball. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier