‘I always try to imagine myself as a winner – blocking out the noise, You have to keep reminding yourself that you’re there for a reason and that you are better than the other guy’.
Tennis World No 1. Djokovic had to maintain his focus through a final set which lasted two hours and two minutes, but said his opponent, Roger Federer had the upper hand throughout his historic Wimbledon win, as he claimed his fifth Wimbledon title and 16th Grand Slam.
“I thought I could have played better. But at the same time one thing that probably allowed me to come back and save match points and win this match was the mental stability in those moments. I guess there is also an endurance part, You need to be constantly playing well throughout five hours if you want to win a match like this…”
Other than endurance and a strong mental strength, Djokovic also had other motivating factors “But I think there is always this self-belief. You have to keep reminding yourself that you’re there for a reason and that you are better than the other guy.”
Djokovic who has now won 16 grand slam titles which places him not far behind Roger Federer’s 20 and Rafael Nadal’s 18 slam wins say the performances of his rivals has spurred him on to success.
“The fact that they made history motivates me as well, inspires me to try to do what they have done, what they’ve achieved, and even more. Whether I’m going to be able to do it or not, I don’t know. I’m not just a tennis player, I’m a father and a husband. You have to balance things out.”
His pursuit of Federer and Nadal is made more remarkable by the fact he won his first major in 2008 – when Federer had claimed 13 and Nadal five – and only added a second three years later.
Novak Djokovic says his epic Wimbledon final victory over Roger Federer which lasted 4 hours 57 minutes, and was the longest Wimbledon singles final was his most “mentally demanding” match – and he even had to tell himself the partisan crowd was cheering for him. “When the crowd is chanting ‘Roger’ I hear ‘Novak’,” said the Serb. “It sounds silly, but it is like that.”
Also he credited mental training and visualisation in helping him through the epic that unfolded on Centre Court, adding it was more difficult for him than the physical toll on his body.
“Also there has to be willpower, strength that comes not just from your physical self, but from your mental and emotional self. For me, at least, it’s a constant battle within, more than what happens outside. It’s really not the situations that you experience that are affecting you, but how you internally experience those situations, how you accept them, how you live through them.”