One of the most famous athletes of the 2020 Olympics is the Serbian tennis player, although to the surprise of many he does not sleep in the Villa facilities
He has done stretching with the Belgian gymnastics team. He offered advice on mental toughness to Turkish volleyball players. He screamed in a room full of compatriots when another Serb won a gold in taekwondo. He poses for photographs with a Venezuelan karate fighter, and with many other Olympians from around the world.
Novak Djokovic he is totally immersed in the Olympic experience in his fourth Games.
“I’m just trying to enjoy every second,” said the Serbian tennis player. “You stay at the Villa, with more than 10,000 athletes, exchanging knowledge, experiences, about life, about sport. You don’t have this type of experience anywhere else.”
“Being an individual athlete like we are in tennis, I’m trying to be really grateful for that I enjoy and take advantage of it to take as much positive energy out of it as I can,” added Djokovic. “It’s been a really great time for me.”
For the moment, Djokovic he has had no trouble transferring that energy to the tennis court.
A 6-3, 6-1 win over the Spaniard Alexander Davidovich, 16th seeded, put Djokovic in the quarterfinals of the Olympic tournament and keeps his bid to get a ‘Golden Slam’ alive.
Steffi Graf is the only tennis player to have achieved all four Grand Slam tournaments and Olympic gold in the same calendar year, in 1988.
Djokovic has already conquered the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 2021, so he has only gold left at Tokyo 2020 and the US Open to complete this unique collection.
Athletes from other disciplines have been questioning Djokovic about what he does to maintain his mental strength.
“The first night was with Serbian basketball players, judokas and athletes from different sports. They were very interested in asking me about mental toughness and how to manage pressure, and what are the techniques and ways to really understand how to recover if you lose the ball. concentration in a moment when you are competing, “said Djokovic. “So I talked about it a lot. But I will keep it a secret only from athletes. Only athletes.”
In addition to the individual tournament, the world number one also disputes the mixed doubles with his compatriot Nina stojanovic. A victory over Brazilians Marcelo Melo and Luisa Stefani also catapulted them to the quarterfinals.
In some Games, winning in that round is a ticket to the fight for the medals. In the list of Djokovic there is only one Olympic bronze from his first Olympic participation, in Beijing 2008.
Another medal of hers would be a perfect cause for celebration for Serbs in the Olympic Village.
Although, to tell the truth, Djokovic doesn’t always spend the night there.
“I’m between the hotel and the Villa. But I spend every day (in the) Villa,” he explained. “The hotel is mostly for sleeping and having my own routine in the morning. But beyond that, I am always at the Villa because this is very special. “