Fatherhood key to Djokovic's recent success

World number one and three-time Wimbledon champion has lost just three matches out of 61 since becoming a father.

    Djokovic became the first man since 2007 to retain the Wimbledon men's title [Reuters]
    Djokovic became the first man since 2007 to retain the Wimbledon men's title [Reuters]

    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" - that Goran Ivanisevic calls it - 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.

    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. 

    He also made it to the final of the French Open last month where he lost to Stan Wawrinka.

    Fathers who won Grand Slams
    Jimmy Connors - Wimbledon 1982, U.S. Open 1982, 1983
    Pat Cash - Wimbledon 1987
    Andres Gomez - French Open 1990
    Boris Becker - Australian Open 1996
    Petr Korda - Australian Open 1998
    Yevgeny Kafelnikov - Australian Open 1999
    Albert Costa - French Open 2002
    Andre Agassi - Australian Open 2003
    Roger Federer - Australian Open 2010, Wimbledon 2012
    Novak Djokovic - Australian Open 2015, Wimbledon 2015

    "Ever since I got married and became a father, I haven't lost many matches, I won many tournaments,"  a beaming Djokovic said as he celebrated his first wedding anniversary by winning his third Wimbledon title.

    "I suggest that to every player, Get married, have kids, let's enjoy this."

    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.

    "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.

    "You can't think about what happened in the French Open or what happened a few weeks before. You just need to look forward."

    While Federer and Rafa Nadal had claimed 15 and 14 grand slam titles respectively by the time they were 28, Djokovic's recent success shows he is getting better with age.

    "I'm 28. I feel good. I don't feel old. I have hopefully many more years in front of me. I'm going to try to push my own limits and see how far I can go really with titles and with myself playing on this high level.

    "I try to learn from every experience, especially the ones that don't end up victorious for me. I'm going to keep going."

    Jelena, wife of Novak Djokovic of Serbia, and his coach Boris Becker, celebrate after Djokovic won the Wimbledon final on Sunday [AP]

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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