World Number 1, Novak Djokovic has disclosed that he considered pulling out of the Olympics due to COVID-19-related restrictions after winning Wimbledon this month but decided to head to Japan for what he called patriotic reasons.
The Serbian tennis star is looking forward to the chance of winning a gold medal in Tokyo this summer when he represents his country at the Olympic Games. The Wimbledon champion is aiming to win all major grand slams available in a calendar year and the Olympic Gold.
In a televised interview with Montenegro’s MINA news agency in the coastal republic’s resort of Herceg Novi, Djokovic revealed that Croatia’s former Olympian Blanka Vlasic had helped persuade him not to pull out.
“It came down to patriotism and my feelings for Serbia,” Djokovic said after completing a practice session on a hard court surface. “I am not overjoyed about playing with no fans present or about the various coronavirus restrictions effective in Japan, but representing your country in the Olympics is indispensable.
“I came across Blanka Vlasic a few days ago and she said that people will only remember who won the medals, not what the conditions were like or whether there were any fans or not,” he said.
“Her words stuck with me and I am delighted that I decided to take part in the Olympics. I am inspired to play my best tennis and confident that I can win the gold medal after a tremendous run so far this season.”