17-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic has revealed that there was a time when he contemplated walking away from the sport. The period Djokovic referred to was between 2008 and 2010, when the Serbian went through a bit of a forgettable run after winning his first Grand Slam, the Australian Open. Also Read - Nick Kyrgios Takes Another Dig at Novak Djokovic, Tells Andy Murray 'You Are Better Than The Serb'
Djokovic went on to lose four of his next five Grand Slam encounters against Federer, and four against Nadal at the Majors. However, it was in 2010 that Djokovic felt he wasn’t enjoying tennis and almost decided to quit the sport. In the French Open that year, Djokovic threw away a two-set lead against Jurgen Melzer of Australia. After four hours and 15 minutes of intense battle, Melzer beat Djokovic 3-6, 2-6, 6-2, 7-6, 6-4 and set up a semi-final meeting with Nadal at the Roland Garros. Also Read - COVID-19: ATP Cancels Eight More Events, WTA Scraps Four as Tennis Tour Suspension Continues
“Against Melzer in Roland Garros, during the quarters, this defeat was really difficult for me emotionally,” Djokovic told Sky Sports Italia. “I cried a lot after this defeat because I had a moment in my life, my career, when everything happened in a fusion in which I really did not see a reason to keep on playing, I wanted to quit tennis.” Also Read - Rafael Nadal Gives Blunt Wake-up Call to Novak Djokovic, Says 'World No.1 Will Have to be Vaccinated if he Wants to Play tennis at The Top Level'
A string of poor results against the likes of top guys Nadal and Roger Federer, as Djokovic puts is, was weighing him down mentally. But he rethought his decision and all well for the Serbian, who, since overcoming the defeat in 2010, went on to win seven Australian Open, five Wimbledon, three US Open, and one French Open title since.
“I cried a lot after this defeat because I had a moment in my life, my career, when everything happened in a fusion in which I really did not see a reason to keep on playing, I wanted to quit tennis,” Djokovic added.
And since, Djokovic’s red-hot form continued, till the COVID-19 pandemic halted sports across the world. In the year 2020, Djokovic lifted the ATP Cup with Serbia, won the Australian Open for an eighth time and was crowned the Dubai Tennis Champion for a fifth time.