Djokovic ahead of Wimbledon: "Additional motivation"

Djokovic ahead of Wimbledon: “Additional motivation”

“How is your preparation for Wimbledon?
So far, so good. I haven’t done any tournaments before Wimbledon, but I’ve had success here in the past without having had official matches. Over the years I’ve managed to adapt quickly to the surface, so there’s no reason not to believe I can do it again.

In case of victory, you will have the prestige and the check, but not the points. How does this affect your approach and mindset heading into this tournament?
It’s probably going to affect more players than me, to be honest. I don’t want to say that the points are not important for me (he is currently 3rd in the world). Of course they are. But not as they were until recently. I don’t really chase that ranking goal as much as I have, since breaking the record for most weeks as No. 1. This year, between the Australian Open and Wimbledon, I’m in the inability to defend 4000 points… This affects my ranking, of course. But my priorities are different.

“It’s always been my biggest motivation to win here since I was a kid. Pete Sampras winning his first Wimbledon was the first tennis match I saw on TV”

Only three men in the Open era (Borg, Sampras, Federer) have won Wimbledon four or more times in a row. How much of an aspiration is it for you to join this group?
It’s always been my biggest motivation to win here since I was a kid. Pete Sampras winning his first Wimbledon (1993) was the first tennis match I saw on TV. So, of course, there are a lot of links with this tournament. And Pete has won it seven times, if I’m not mistaken. And I hope I could do the same this year (smile).

As it stands, this will be your last chance to play in a Grand Slam tournament in 2022.(the United States does not accept unvaccinated persons on the territory). Does that boost your motivation here?
It’s an additional motivation to do well here. I hope I can have a very good tournament, as I have done in the last three editions (which he won). Then I’ll just have to wait and see. I would like to go to the United States. But to date, this is not possible. There’s not much more I can do. I mean, it really depends on the United States. It is up to the government to decide whether or not to allow unvaccinated people to enter the country.

You still have time to get vaccinated before New York. Is this something you have completely closed your mind to as an option for the future?
Yes.

“I can’t say that I completely agree with banning Russian tennis players, Belarusian tennis players, from competing indefinitely”

What is your position on a complete ban of Russian athletes in all sport?
As a child of a war, and indeed many during the 90s, I know what it feels like to be in this position. But on the other hand, I can’t say that I completely agree with banning Russian tennis players, Belarusian tennis players, from competing indefinitely. I just don’t see how they contributed anything to what’s going on. They deserve to play. They are professional athletes. None of them supported a war or anything like that. Let me remind you that in the 90s, from 1992 to 1996, no athlete from Serbia was allowed to compete on the international stage, in any sport. So I know how it feels. I know how much it affected their lives. Many of them have given up on their sport…”

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