The Untold Story of Novak Đokovic's Battle with Injury and Self-Doubt

Novak Djokovic revealed that he was thinking about retiring from tennis in 2018, after numerous problems with his elbow, and he seemed very emotional

by Sededin Dedovic
The Untold Story of Novak Đokovic's Battle with Injury and Self-Doubt
© Clive Brunskill / Getty Images

Novak Djokovic, one of the greatest tennis masters of all time, revealed one of the most difficult moments in his career – he considered retiring from tennis in 2018 due to numerous elbow problems. In an intimate interview with the famous journalist Džefri Katzenberg, Djokovic opened up about his elbow injury, which became the most serious obstacle on the way to the top of the sport.

The injury, which began to trouble him in 2016, has become more serious over time. Djokovic, whose character is known for his extraordinary mental and physical endurance, had to face a challenge that became bigger and harder.

"I started to feel pain," admitted Djokovic, "I've been dragging that elbow injury for a while. I've always been against painkillers, but I had to take them to be able to play. I didn't want to let myself, my family, the fans down ..." His struggle came to a head in the Wimbledon quarter-finals, when he realized the situation had become unsustainable.

"I couldn't serve, I couldn't raise my hand," Djokovic described the moment he realized he was facing a serious obstacle in his career. That point marked a turning point, where he had to take radical steps to recover and get back on the field.

The decision to undergo surgery was not easy for Djokovic. After the operation, he faced an emotional burden, which was perhaps even heavier than the physical pain. "I cried after the operation, not because it hurt, but because I felt like I let myself down," admitted Djokovic, who has always been an opponent of surgery.

"Then I knew it was over, then I had to take on something more radical. I avoided surgery at all costs, so I didn't play until the end of the season. I tried all different methods to heal, but I felt the pain again during the preparations for the next season.

I went to play in Australia, and after that I became aware that I had to have an operation." However, with the support of his family and team, he accepted the fact that it was necessary to get back into the game. Returning to the field after the operation was not easy.

Novak experienced several defeats that shook him to the core. "I did feel like I wanted to quit tennis," Djokovic admitted, describing his internal struggle after the surgery. "For the first time in many years, I fell out of the top 20, I played the worst I've ever played and lost to guys I've never played before.

I felt miserable on the court," said Djkovic, who can be seen speaking with great emotion. about this case.

Rafael Nadal of Spain (L) and Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a forehand react after watching a video replay while on the sideline© Michael Dodge / Getty Images

In those difficult moments, the support of his wife, agent and team was essential.

"My wife, my agent and my team told me to think again," recalls Djokovic, "and I'm really grateful that I had that great support and the right advice." That was the moment when Djokovic realized that he needed time to calm down and make a decision that was in line with his long-term goals.

"My head was hot, I just left the court after one of the defeats. Sometimes I'm also hot-headed, my wife can testify. I lost the match in Miami and said "I'm done". They told me to think and really I'm grateful that I had that great support and the right advice, because at that moment I needed to calm down." Fast forward, and the second part of 2018 marked an incredible return for Novak Djokovic.

He won two Grand Slam tournaments - Wimbledon and the US Open, re-establishing his dominance on the tennis court. The hardships he went through became only part of his inspiring story of rising from the ashes. This can be a message to young tennis players and young people in general that they should never give up and that success will only come with great effort and self-belief.

J Today, Novak Djokovic stands as the record holder with 24 Grand Slam trophies won and dominates almost every statistic in the history of tennis. His story is a reminder of willpower, endurance and the ability to overcome the greatest challenges.

As much as you like him or not, he is simply statistically the best of all time. Above all, Djokovic's story is an example of how with the support of family, team and own determination, one can overcome the most difficult trials and become a legend of tennis.

So if you have difficult moments in your life, don't give up, let this story be your inspiration to do the best you can.

Novak Djokovic