Novak Djokovic: After Becoming A Father Last Week I Already Feel Like I’m No. 1
by Tom Gainey | October 27th, 2014, 9:47 pm
  • 38 Comments

Defending champion Novak Djokovic met the press for the first time in Paris today since he and wife Jelena Ristic welcomed their first child, baby boy Stefan, into the world last week. The top ranked Djokovic is in a fight for the No. 1 ranking this week in Paris, but he’s already on top of the world.

“Honestly, the way I feel right now, I feel like I’m already No. 1 with becoming a father last week,” said Djokovic. “For me, this is the most important moment in my life.

“It happened almost a week ago, and luckily I was there and it didn’t interfere with my tennis schedule. It was the most beautiful thing that ever happened in my life and [Jelena’s] life. I hope that it’s going to affect positively my career. In terms of my approach to tennis, nothing is really changing. I’m still out here, still fighting, competing, and then trying to be No. 1 in the world.”

Jelena and Stefan won’t be in Paris with Djokovic, but Roger Federer will be there hot on the trail of the Serb’s No. 1 ranking.

“He’s coming close in the rankings, and I’m sure that he’s going to be very motivated to fight for No. 1. It’s pretty much open,” Djokovic said. “I do defend a lot of points here and in London, but over the years I have been playing well in Paris and in London. I prepared myself well. In the circumstances, I tried to get as many hours on the court as possible. I will try to be with all my focus and attention in this tournament and take it one match at a time.

“Of course, the goal for both of us is to finish the year as No. 1 in the world. So we both are playing well, and that’s something that is definitely going to play a big role in the upcoming weeks.”

Federer will have to make the finals to hold any hope of passing Djokovic in Paris. The Swiss though has won 35 of his last 38 matches including 12 straight.

“Last year I think was his worst year in the past ten years of his career,” Djokovic said of the 33-year-old Federer. “He didn’t play as well and he had some unexpected losses. But this year he came out strong again, competing for Grand Slam titles. Now he is competing for No. 1 in the world, and I never thought that he wouldn’t be in competition for No. 1.”

Seeking a third Paris title, Djokovic opens play tomorrow against Philipp Kohlschreiber. Djokovic beat David Ferrer in the 2013 Paris final.


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38 Comments for Novak Djokovic: After Becoming A Father Last Week I Already Feel Like I’m No. 1

skeezer Says:

Nole has become a class act. Well said. He said all the right things and glad he is at a happy point in his life. His respect for Fed was well noted. His attitude and awareness atm is key. This is why I am picking him to retain his #1 ranking for 2014.


jane Says:

that’s nice skeezer. i’m not sure if he will hold on to #1, but if not he can hunt it next year; it might light a fire under him. fed’s results have been better, overall, since halle. fed’s worst results were around rome and FO right when his boys were born, so with that in mind, i am not too sure what to expect from nole following the birth of his first. it’s been such a distracting year for him personally; he hasn’t been “with it” since the marriage, and now a baby too! nevertheless, like you, i am happy that he’s happy. it’s what really matters in the end. <3


Humble Rafa Says:

His respect for Fed was well noted.

Is this necessary? I mean, the guy just had a baby. Why bring any arrogance into this?


Humble Rafa Says:

His respect for Fed was well noted.

Is this necessary? I mean, the guy just had a baby. Why bring any arrogance into this?


skeezer Says:

^crazy does as crazy is, even in double post. Please adjust the alcohol.


Michael Says:

It is very much recognisable that Novak is a devout family man and is celebrating big his father time, which is understandable. But, he also needs to concentrate on his game which seems to be withering away and he never is the same player that he used to be. Coincidentally, his decline in standards started with his marriage and I am not sure how much his personal interests has affected his game ? The big question is if he is motivated enough to preserve his No.1 ranking ?


Okiegal Says:

@Michael….I personally think he will get back in the groove, he’s too good not to. He’s had a lot on his plate for sure, but I don’t think it will take him long to get it going again. I have a gut feeling Fed will win the year end #1…..but truly believe it will be after the battle. Novak is a fighter!!


wilfried Says:

@ Skeezer October 27th, 2014, at 10:30
[Nole has become a class act]
Nole always was “class”, particularly in the gracious way he accepts a loss.
As for his opinion on Roger Federer, I don’t think it has changed an inch.
Because he also said in the same interview: “I always thought that he (=Roger) ‘s one of the best players in the world, and he keeps on proving to everybody that he deserves to be there. I have lots of respect for what he does. I don’t think that age is an issue for him. As a matter of fact, I think he’s playing some of his best tennis this year”.
http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2014/10/44/Paris-Monday-Djokovic.aspx
Whether you perceive those words as really respectful towards Roger, is a matter of opinion and perception I suppose.
Age is an issue for Roger,whether he likes it or not.


Jhon Says:

I hope Djokovic remains No. 1. He’s the rightful number one. I would wish him Best Of Luck.


Hippy Chick Says:

Rogers been the most consistent player throughout the year,where Novak has been good in fits and starts,however Novaks made two GS finals winning one,so i would say on that note hes deserves it more,it would be most unususl to see Roger at number 1 without a GS,but to be in contention at the age of 33 is a fantastic achievement in itself….


Hippy Chick Says:

Michael i dont believe hes declining,hes been in two GS finals this year winning one,i just think at certain times there were other players that were simply better than he was….


Michael Says:

Okiegal @ 1.00 AM,

I also hope so. He is ofcourse one heck of a player and I have great respect for him particularly because of the way he tamed the indomitable Rafa in 2011. Infact if not for Novak, Rafa might have equalled or even surpassed Roger in grand slam count. Who knows ? Now coming to Novak, he still has age on his side and he can take some liberty with it. But, honestly I feel that he could have postponed his marriage as well as Father time to atleast until 30 and I am flummoxed as to why he hurried into falling in the family trap ? Tennis is such a competitive sport that you cannot afford a let off in either your energy, passion, tenacity, commitment and determination. Family commitments might distract you from the Sport and that can prove fatal. There are very minor exceptions like Roger who have able to strike a fine balance between family commitments and the needs of the sport. It is tough to emulate it.


Michael Says:

Alison,

If you are No.1, then it will automatically open up great expectations wherein you will be expected to win everything before you. That is the lofty price you pay for greatness. I well remember Roger in his peak when after just one lapse on his part, the Media men would start pestering him with questions as to whether he is on decline, age is catching up with him etc. etc. That is the reason Roger said I made a monster out of me by cultivating a habit of winning. That is how tough it is where you will be shown no mercy if you are a top player. Assessment might be a bit unfair, but that is how it is and you need to take it in stride. Now coming to the decline of Novak, it is not that I question his dedication by losing to Roger or Andy or Rafa or even Tsonga. But oflate he has been highly vulnerable even against the second rung of players and that sign is definitely not encouraging.


Okiegal Says:

@Michael

I guess it remains to be seen if Novak can balance being a husband, a father and a tennis player. You are right, Roger does it better than anyone. Merika is a great support system for him….I think she thinks his records are also hers!! Lol Sometimes becoming a parent isn’t necessarily planned…..so what’s a guy to do?? lol

The year end race is going to be very interesting to say the least…..I for one, can not wait…..even though my guy is missing, dang it!!


TennisVagabond.com Says:

I agree with Skeeze, I wasn’t a big fan of young Novak with his over-the-tope machismo, but I always liked his sense of humour. Seems like he’s matured into a young man with a great sense of proportion and respect- and still has the humour.
Congrats to Novak, he is truly on top of the world.


steve-o Says:

Federer is so well-balanced in all ways that he can be a father of four and a top tennis player at the same time. It’s not just a question of talent, but of character and temperament too. He genuinely enjoys the tennis life (travel, fans, media, sponsor obligations, dealing with issues with player and tournament management). It doesn’t drain him the way it does other players.

He’s not a brooding kind of guy, doesn’t waste energy worrying about what happened in the past. He makes decisions, then accepts the consequences and moves on. He always has such a positive mentality that he never gets down on himself for very long.

But even he was a little off after Myla and Charlene were born (he lost a very strange match to Tsonga at Rogers’ Cup from 5-1 up in the third set, won Cincinnati but then lost a set and break lead to Del Potro in the USO final). And then this year when Leo and Lenny were born he had early upsets during the clay season.

I would be shocked if Djokovic weren’t affected by his child’s birth so soon afterwards. It’s a huge adjustment for him, and in the back of his mind he’ll have to be thinking about the child. Very few players in tennis history have managed to balance parenthood with winning championships: Evonne Goolagong on the women’s side is the most famous one, Court and Clijsters too. Among men, Agassi, Connors, and Federer are the only ones to win major titles as fathers.

Maybe Djokovic can do it too, I wish him the best.


Perfect fan Says:

Wrong thread but dnt know where else to put this:
“Whats with the music thingy going on at bercy, even with the game on….??”

It gives the feeling of some joke-club-tennis….

Ridiculous really….will it continue till the finals??


jane Says:

sorry gordon; ignore my post. you were right re: the dc points as possible clincher. just double checked.


Giles Says:

https://mobile.twitter.com/carole_bouchard/status/527135068402511873
Didn’t know where else to post this.
More complaints about the Head Balls!


Margot Says:

@steve-o
Stan W.


Humble Rafa Says:

Federer is so well-balanced in all ways that he can be a father of four and a top tennis player at the same time. It’s not just a question of talent, but of character and temperament too.

After reading this, I thought something bad happened to him. It sounds like obituary. Don’t scare this virtual community, most folks won’t forgive you.


skeezer Says:

steve-o,
Great post.


Steve 27 Says:

Is in your hands, mate.


jane Says:

steve-o, here’s hoping (re: your final sentence). there’s also davenport, but did she win a major after becoming a mother? i can’t remember. i wonder if the fact that nole has become a father relatively young, at 27, and the fact that a lot of players are playing longer with more success, will help his chances? fingers crossed.


leo Says:

Skeezer agreed – “Nole has become a class act”. And I also agree that he seems to have the right attitude about this. Good for him and his fans! Let the better man win this race.


jane Says:

nope, it was before she had a child that lindsay davenport won slams, not after.


skeezer Says:

@leo
Yes! And what a better way to finish off the year for Tennis fans. The race to #1 will go down to the wire. Fun stuff! 2 class acts, 2 great stories, the sport of Tennis has never been better.


Michael Says:

Okiegal,

Lol Sometimes becoming a parent isn’t necessarily planned…..so what’s a guy to do?? lol

But there are umpteen precautions you can take to prevent conception. Moreover as a Tennis player, you have to be extra careful in over indulgence and that applies to all natural cravings. When you sacrifice your whole body for the sport by adopting a strict regimen of diet, exercise as well as donate all your valuable time etc., why not have control over ???????


Michael Says:

If anytime Roger is more needed for Novak, it is only now. He has to seek him and get valuable tips on how to be a successful family man as well as a Sportsperson. Novak needs all the valuable tips that he can get from Roger.


Okiegal Says:

@Michael…..loved your post at 1:59…..I’m smiling! Abstinence is the only thing that really works…..imo!! Now you tell me that a red blooded male is gonna do that……I don’t think so!! Tee hee. I think this couple will make it work, she seems very supportive of Novak. It won’t be easy, but they’ll be OK. Good luck to him!!


Michael Says:

Okiegal @ 2.57 am,

Delighted to hear that !? I understand that it is a delicate subject to debate because it is something very personal. But still when you are in public domain, even your personal indulgence will come in for critical analysis and that one may not help.

However, it is a tad unfair to equate a Tennis player with a red blooded male. Tennis players are unique and cannot be compared to the average man on Street. They have great self control, and practice considerable restraint or else cannot survive in such a tough and competitive sport. They are different in that they have sacrificed everything for the sport they play and in some way are similar to Saints.

I would say that Tennis players should emulate the modus operandi of Saints to become successful in their profession. The binding factor for the Saint as well as the Tennis player is abstinence. Where they differ is the end goal ? While the former practises this in pursuit of spiritual upgradation, moral tranquility and selfless seekings, the later pursues it for individual glory and bolstering commercial fortunes.


steve-o Says:

The pill works, Okiegal. There is a nonzero probability that it will fail, but according to quantum theory there’s also a nonzero probability that you will spontaneously dematerialize and rematerialize in the heart of the sun. But we don’t really worry about that, nor should we.

The point is the probability of failure is so small as to be effectively zero. “Only abstinence works” is simply a misstatement of the facts.


steve-o Says:

@Margot: Thanks, how could I forget Stan the Man!


Brando GOAT poster Says:

@Steve-O: great post. You cannot compare Fed to Nole. And that’s not a Tennis related comment but character and temperament related one. Fed has always been a very cool, focused, not overly emotive player. Like you said: he does not overly dwell on the negatives and is great at moving on. He’s hardly had a stretch post Wimby 03′ where you can say: his results are poor right now, is he down emotionally? Does he not feel well mentally? Nole though is different. He’s a lot more emotional, volatile even in the extremes of what he feels and is not really the supremely focused operator that Fed is. Really no one is. This does not mean that it will hinder Novak going forward. Personally: I do not see that happening at all. I think his results will be the same as they would be without fatherhood: good patches, bad patches. Plus he’s only 27. Realistically: he’s got 2 peak years left in him then he’s in his 30′s when fatherhood or not you experience a natural dip in results.


Okiegal Says:

@Steve-27 No, the pill doesn’t always work and I stand by my original comment……abstinence is the only fool proof remedy. Can’t you see this?

@Michael…..Tennis players are no different than any other red blooded male….all men can show restraint if they have to…..if I’ve understood the point you were trying to make??


Hippy Chick Says:

The pill does work its 99% safe anyway,it just gives you mood swings,makes you put on weight etc,like the injection,the implant etc which makes you nauseus,the best form of contreception,is just say no….


Hippy Chick Says:

Okiegal they face the same temptations that ordinary blokes do(probably more so),been rich,famous and good looking means they probably have women throwing themselves at these men everyday,groupies we call them over here,tennis players dont seem too bad,but the tabloids over here are full of football players doing the dirty,week in week out….


Okiegal Says:

@Chick…….Yes 99% chance it will thwart unwanted pregnancy …….I have friends that fell into the 1%……that’s what I’m taking about!! LOL Abstaining works every single time!!

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