No one likes listening to their parents, not even the best tennis player in the world.
Father of superstar tennis player Novak Djokovic — Srdjan Djokovic — has urged his son to retire from the sport, but it doesn’t seem to be working.
Srdjan begs for retirement
As seen in the newly released documentary Novak Djokovic – Untold Stories on Youtube, Srdjan admits that he wants his son to give up playing tennis as he has already accomplished everything he can.
“As far as my wishes for him go, he has already fulfilled them all seven-eight years ago,” Srdjan said in the documentary. “My wish as a father — I think for some time — that he should have stopped working this extremely difficult job. It’s physically and mentally challenging and very demanding. With him being fully dedicated for 30 years, and not taking his foot off the gas, there is not much time for other things in life.”
Srdjan believes that while tennis has consumed his son’s life up until this point, there are still many aspects of life left for Novak after he retires. “Tennis is only one segment of his life, not his whole life. I expect him to be recognized for the things he will do after his career ends as well after he leaves the tennis world, which I hope will happen next year,” Novak’s father said.
Novak declines his father’s wishes
Despite his father’s comments, Djokovic still appears at the top of his game. He began this year’s ATP Tour winning the first two Grand Slams at The Australian Open and The French Open. While he didn’t take home Wimbledon, he still made it to the championship match where he was defeated by rising tennis star Carlos Alcaraz in five sets.
During Wimbledon, Joker not only dismissed the idea of retirement, but pleaded that he feels just as young as ever. “I feel 36 is the new 26, it feels pretty good. I feel a lot of motivation,” he said after defeating Jannik Sinner in the semifinal match. “It is great to be part of this next generation, I love it. This sport has given me and my family a lot. I will return the favor to this sport and play as much as I can.”
A new generation
Djokovic’s father isn’t the only one considering retirement for his son, however. As a member of the prominent “Big Three” of tennis along with Roger Federer and Rafeal Nadal, Djokovic’s career will be mostly remembered for his play in a past generation. Though he’s expressed excitement about this “next generation,” Djokovic’s fellow Big Three comrades don’t seem to feel the same way. While Federer has already retired from the sport back in September, Nadal has suggested he will finish up his career in 2024 when he returns from a hip injury.
Once Nadal fades away from the game, Joker will be the last standing great of the 2010s tennis era.
Personally, I hope Djokovic continues to play as long as he can at this level. You don’t retire just because the dudes you started with did. Imagine if LeBron hung it up when D-Wade and Carmelo did. That’s essentially the same thing.
That said, I also hope Joker does know when to call it quits. No one likes watching an old once-great veteran tarnish his career in his final seasons. Remember how miserable it was watching Shaq on the Cavs and Celtics. Dude could barely move up and down the court. Or how about Matt Ryan currently taking a job at CBS “while he waits for a team to sign him.” No one is doing that dude, just retire gracefully.
Hopefully Djokovic takes his father’s advice before he becomes an old fart huffing and puffing across the clay. Until then, however, I’ll gladly watch him in his match against father time.