Djokovic's 'privilege' call amid Biles-Osaka furore

1 month ago 19

With the taxable of athletes' intelligence wellness and unit being discussed astatine the Olympics, Novak Djokovic said "pressure is simply a privilege".

The top-ranked Serb was asked however helium deals with the unit of attempting to execute thing that nary antheral has done earlier successful tennis: completing a Golden Slam.

Steffi Graf successful 1988 is the lone tennis subordinate to execute the Golden Slam, winning each 4 Grand Slam tournaments and Olympic golden successful the aforesaid calendar year.

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"Pressure is simply a privilege, my friend," Djokovic said successful reply to a reporter's question aft winning some of his matches astatine the Ariake Tennis Park connected Wednesday, beating Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain to scope the quarter-finals successful singles past teaming with spouse Nina Stojanovic for different triumph successful the opening circular of mixed doubles.

"Without unit determination is nary nonrecreational sport," Djokovic added. "If you are aiming to beryllium astatine the apical of the crippled you amended commencement learning however to woody with unit and however to header with those moments — connected the tribunal but besides disconnected the court."

Novak Djokovic reacts against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain during the Men's Singles Third Round. (VCG via Getty Images)

Djokovic, who has already won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon this twelvemonth and needs the Tokyo Games rubric and the U.S. Open trophy to implicit a Golden Slam, said helium has learned to woody with each expectations.

"All that buzz and each that sound is the happening that, I can't accidental I don't spot it oregon I don't perceive it, of people it's there, but I've learned, I've developed the mechanics however to woody with it successful specified a mode that it volition not enforce demolition to me. It volition not deterioration maine down," Djokovic said. "I consciousness I person capable acquisition to cognize myself however to measurement connected the tribunal and play my champion tennis."

Djokovic struggled much with intelligence unit astatine the commencement of his vocation erstwhile helium wasn't winning arsenic overmuch arsenic longtime rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. He won the Wimbledon rubric this period to lucifer Federer and Nadal with his 20th Grand Slam.

"Of course. It's normal," Djokovic said. "No 1 is calved with those abilities. Those abilities travel with time."

Simone Biles during women's qualification for the Artistic Gymnastics last astatine the Tokyo Olympics. (NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Tennis subordinate Naomi Osaka and American gymnast Simone Biles are among the Olympians who person talked openly astir their mental wellness troubles.

Djokovic's lone Olympic medal was bronze successful singles from his archetypal Olympic appearances astatine the 2008 Beijing Games. He past mislaid to Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina successful his adjacent 2 Games: successful the 2012 bronze-medal lucifer and the archetypal circular astatine the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

"Rio was (a) precise pugnacious nonaccomplishment for me," Djokovic said. "I came into Rio arsenic besides a large favorite, winning 4 retired of past 5 Grand Slams, No.1 successful the world. So I cognize that feeling; it's benignant of a akin feeling now. But I'm a much experienced player; I cognize mentally what I request to bash and however to enactment things astir connected and disconnected the tribunal successful bid to consciousness the champion that I imaginable tin feel."

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