- Novak Djokovic run in the 2023 US Open was graced by top athletes in the sports arena
- He says that having these athletes in his matches has made him a champion in tennis because he emulates a lot from them
- Their presence at Flushing Meadows pushed him to the success of qualifying in the last eight alongside his favourite players, Carlos Alcaraz
Novak Djokovic run in the 2023 US Open was graced by top athletes in the sports arena among them NFL star Tom Brady and former AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
NFL legend Aaron Rodgers also graced his match. Their presence at Flushing Meadows pushed him to the success of qualifying in the last eight alongside his favourite player, Carlos Alcaraz who is now in the quarterfinals as well.
With a 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 victory over Croatian qualifier Borna Gojo, Djokovic breezed into the US Open’s last eight and is now only one short of Roger Federer’s record of 58 grand slam quarterfinal appearances.
The Serbian battled back from two sets down in a tense third-round match against fellow Serbian Laslo Djere to keep his bid for a 24th Grand Slam championship alive.
Djokovic while speaking to the press after qualifying said that seeing Rodgers, Ibrahimovic and Brady inspired him so much because they have a lot of success in the sports they play in.
He said that he employs the strategies they use in their respective sports to become a successful tennis player.
Djokovic does this by maintaining a healthy relationship with then sharing in the journey of sacrifice, pain and resilience.
“I try to maintain and nurture relationships with athletes from different sports because, as an athlete, of course, I relate to them. I identify myself with what they are doing and I can understand the pain, the sacrifice, the dedication,” he said according to Tennis365.
The 36-year-old says that he has invariable respect for greatness, especially for athletes who have reached the pinnacle of their sports such as Brady and Ibrahimovic.
That is why he surrounds himself with them so as to learn more and become inspired by their journey in sports.
His friendship with the three celebrity athletes is driven by a shared understanding of their cultures which is also an interesting feat.
It wasn’t the first time Brady showed up in one of his matches. The NFL player watched his 2023 French Open finals while seated next to his [Djokovic’s] wife Jelena Djokovic.
He only has respect for him and their relationship goes way back
“Tom Brady being in my box for Roland Garros finals and sitting next to my wife, was a huge honour. I have a relationship with Tom for several years. We go back. I have tremendous respect for him,” Djokovic added.
As for the Swedish footballer now with AC Milan, their 15-year friendship has stood the test of time.
This is the reason why he is Djokovic’s favourite footballer especially because he understands him better.
He talked of Ibrahimovic’s Balkan mentality which he admires because it has made him a star although many people do not understand it.