Novak Djokovic ATP Cup 2021

‘You shouldn’t go’ – Dad warned Novak Djokovic not to compete at Olympics

The father of Novak Djokovic has revealed that he suggested his son not compete at the Olympics, where the Serb since came away empty-handed.

The world number one was bidding to achieve a career-first in securing an Olympic gold medal in the singles, and a first in men’s tennis in pursuing the calendar ‘Golden Slam’ of all four Majors and Olympic gold in a calendar year.

Srdjan Djokovic, outspoken father of Novak, has explained that he thought the Wimbledon champion should have forgone the Games, like Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

“If my opinion means anything to you, I don’t think you should go to Tokyo,” Djokovic read on the ‘Biznis Priče’ (‘Business Stories’) podcast from a text message to Novak.

“It is a long way, there are no spectators, you will have to go to quarantine again. It’s just not the Olympics without spectators. Dad loves you.”

But Djokovic fell short in the singles, falling to Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals and then Pablo Carreno Busta in the bronze medal match. The 20-time Slam champion further withdrew from the bronze medal match in the mixed doubles, surrendering the medal to Ashleigh Barty and John Peers of Australia.

Srdjan further revealed his son’s response to the initial message:

“Of course your opinion matters to me, Dad. I wanted to take three or four days to feel how my body was.

“I always recover quickly, so it’s not a big deal. Patriotism is very strong in my heart and in my head, Dad. You know me, when it comes to Serbia, I cry there and I don’t turn around.”