Novak Djokovic ATP Cup 2021

‘Pressure won’t wear me down at Olympics’, insists Novak Djokovic


Novak Djokovic has spoken of pressure being a privilege he has learned to handle after he moved a step closer to a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

The world number one compared the current pressure on him to how he felt at the Rio Olympics, but feels his greater experience means he is now better equipped to manage it.

The Serbian was also a heavy favourite at the 2016 Rio Games – where he was defeated in the opening round by Juan Martin Del Potro.

Djokovic is looking to win a first Olympic gold medal in Tokyo to keep his pursuit of a 2021 Golden Calendar Slam alive.

He defeated Alejandro Davidovich Fokina today to set up a quarter-final clash with home favourite Kei Nishikori.

“Pressure is a privilege. Without pressure there is no professional sport. If you are aiming to be at the top of the game, you better start learning how to deal with pressure and how to cope with those moments – on the court but also off the court,” Djokovic said in a post-match interview.

“All that buzz and all that noise is the thing that, I can’t say I don’t see it or I don’t hear it, of course it’s there, but I’ve learned, I’ve developed the mechanism how to deal with it in such a way that it will not impose destruction to me. It will not wear me down.

“I feel I have enough experience to know myself how to step on the court and play my best tennis. Rio was [a] very tough loss for me. I came into Rio as also a big favourite, winning four out of last five Grand Slams, number one in the world.

“So I know that feeling; it’s kind of a similar feeling now. But I’m a more experienced player; I know mentally what I need to do and how to work things around on and off the court in order to feel the best that I possible can feel.”

Novak Djokovic ATP Cup 2021
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