Novak Djokovic won his seventh title of the year, his 30th at an ATP Masters 1000 and his 66th career crown when he defeated Kei Nishikori to claim the Rogers Cup in Toronto. It was a return to winning ways for the world No.1 after his incredibly disappointing Wimbledon. It is a great start to his hardcourt season but right now, more importantly, it has given him a confidence boost for the Olympic Games in Rio.
With the Bryan brothers Bob and Mike, the defending gold medallists, deciding at the last minute not to go to Rio, but to have the undisputed world No.1 emphasise his passion to play the Games retains the importance of tennis at the Olympics. Every athlete is free to make their own choice about where they compete in Rio or not, and those decision must be respected whether you agree with them or not.
“Well, it's the biggest sports event in the history of the sport, so to be part of it is already a huge privilege and honour that I will cherish, as I did in Beijing and London Olympic Games,” Djokovic said. “I had an honour of carrying the flag for my country in London back in 2012, and that was one of the most unique and unforgettable moments of my life. So I look forward to that, honestly, just being part of it.”
He says he is approaching the Olympic Games as any other tournament and in doing so he is maintaining the same kind of preparation and routine that he has with his team.
“The overall sensation is not going to be the same as the other tournaments, because it's Olympic Games,” he said. “Of course you represent your country. You know, you get to feel that you're part of something much larger than just the tennis event. I look forward to that.
“I'm going to try to extract that positivity out of that huge attention and energy that will be directed into the Olympic Games and hopefully put myself in a position to battle for a medal.”
His view on the reasons some athletes are giving for not being there is mind related and he never once considered not going.
“I think it's all in our minds. Depends how you really approach things. I really don't think about negative stuff and stuff that might cause a fear or concern or something like that, like viruses or security issues,” he said
“Surely they are there. We have to be, in a way, cautious. But I try to look at things from the brighter side. I'm part of the Olympic Games. You know, it's a very exciting city and country that is very passionate for sports.
“You know, millions of people will be there. You know, so many other millions will watch it on the TV. That's the kind of vibe that I feed on, and I look forward to the Olympic Games because I approach it in that way. So I can't wait to be there.”
Well said Nole!