Tennis star Novak Djokovic has revealed he had come close to quitting the game two years ago. In 2017, Djokovic was struggling with injuries and that saw him miss the end of that year's tournament, including that year's US Open. The Serbian was later forced to undergo a surgery for his elbow injury.
This was the time when Djokovic considered walking away from tennis. Luckily for Djokovic, he had the support of his wife Jelena. With that, he overcame difficulties and has gone on to win the 2018 Wimbledon, 2018 US Open and this year's Australian Open.
Djokovic revealed this while he was accepting Laureus Sportsman of the Year award. "I would like to thank my wife for taking time and for presenting me in a different light and I think that the rare occasions we can share our personal journeys and who we are behind the curtain and I think you've done it much better than I would do it," Novak Djokovic said. "Your support has been tremendously significant to me in those moments when I was questioning everything, when I was going through my doubts and dilemmas whether I want to keep on playing tennis.
"And yes I did think about leaving tennis and I did think about everything else and I just didn't find myself in a good balance in life at that point. I did feel like I let myself down when I had surgery — you were right — and it took me several months to find that purpose, find the meaning again."
Djokovic returned to World No 1 ranking since recovering from the injury in 2017 and says overcoming psychological barriers was key to his success since 2018. "I've had to do a lot of inner engineering as I like to call it, especially in the last 15 months, coming back from a major injury and having surgery and being very inpatient and anxious to come back," Djokovic said.
"And then being on the verge to leave the racquet aside and now I'm standing in front of you and reflecting on that journey, it seems like a fairytale story but it tells me one thing. "In those moments when you're facing adversity and feeling challenged, you should look inside because that's where the answer lies. I did not understand that fully, I had heard that before but I think when I went through this journey I understood what this means and I now know where I can always find strength and motivation to keep me going."