‘I don’t have a limit’ – Novak Djokovic clarifies retirement date comments
Novak Djokovic has explained his retirement remarks where he said he will play for “two more years”, saying his retirement is not imminent.
Following his ATP Finals victory over Casper Ruud, Djokovic was awarded his record-breaking seventh Year-End number one trophy.
In the acceptance speech when receiving the trophy, Serbian World number one Djokovic appeared to put a time limit on his playing career, saying “yes, the dream goes on and I hope to play this sport two more years.”
The comments caused quite a stir and led many to believe that the 20-time Grand Slam champion was planning to retire.
However, Djokovic has since clarified his comments and has confirmed that he has no plans to retire any time soon. The confusion and worry came after some translation difficulty when Djokovic said his acceptance speech in Italian as the ATP Finals are being held in Turin, Italy.
“’Paio d’anni’ means a couple of years. I said ‘couple’ meaning – I don’t know. I thought a couple of years playing at the highest level, why not? I mean, it would be great,” Djokovic said on the Italian turn of phrase.
“I don’t have a number in my mind of the years I still want to play at this level.
“I don’t have a limit. I don’t want to impose a limit to myself at all, because I still enjoy playing tennis, and I really enjoy competition and playing at the highest level. Being number one in the world, there is no reason for me yet to think about leaving tennis.”
Djokovic believes he is in good physical condition and has many years left in him as both he and his team look after his body.
“I take care of my body along with my team pretty well, so I believe it won’t be for the injury actually, I hope it won’t be for that, that it will come on my own terms, whenever that moment arrives, that I’ll be very clear with myself that that’s it, you know, that chapter of my life is done, that I can move on.”
“But I just don’t feel that’s (retirement) around the corner, so to say. I still feel like I have years in my legs and in my heart and in my head.
“As long as that’s the case, I’ll keep going, because I truly love the sport and I enjoy the competition, because it keeps me going, challenges me, motivates me, and that’s essential ingredients for me to still keep on playing.”
The 34-year-old Serbian is the oldest player at this years ATP Finals and is still competing with 35-year-old Rafael Nadal and 40-year-old Roger Federer to be the most successful men’s singles Grand Slam champion of all time.
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