Key Takeaways From Novak Djokovic’s 2018 Wimbledon Win
The Djoker is back. And I say that with lot of respect, he is my favorite tennis player, although all four – Federer, Nadal, Murray & Djokovic are treat to watch, especially when they are in a flow. But I feel this Wimbledon win is extraordinary because Djokovic had slipped out of top ten rankings and had not won any grand slam in the last two years. A lot players would think of just retiring when they are not able to make a come back. But Djokovic’s grit is amazing. And he is looking to chase Federer’s record of total number of grand slams. In my opinion he is very hungry and he knows he need to do more than Federer or Nadal just to earn the same respect they get. It is the way things are. Federer and Nadal are the poster boys of Tennis but Djokovic has not got the same kind of acknowledgement. This is what drives him. I will not be surprised if he comes closer to Roger Federer’s total number of Grand Slam wins. He might even win more than him, and I will explain that in point two below. But first look at the number one takeaway from Djoker’s comeback:
(1) Keep the mind calm
All wise men and women across the ages have known that the secret to great results is to calm the mind. A monkey mind can never achieve great things in life. You have to be calm in the middle of the storm, that’s how you overcome the storm. Djokovic has been super calm through out the Wimbledon, had a smile even in the most challenging points of a game and did not let any false decisions by chair umpires to distract him from his goal of winning the match & the championship. There had been some wrong calls made against him during some matches, like when he was playing England’s number one player Kyle Edmund, he was not allowed to challenge the drop shot that Kyle picked up after 2 bounces. He kept his calm, even when some sections of the crowd kept coughing and whistling when he was serving to Kyle. Of course Kyle was the local player and the crowd wanted him to win, but there were times when crowd crossed the line to create distractions for Djokovic. But these are the situations when the true character of a champion is displayed. And he did display his strong spirit during this match and through out Wimbledon. His match against Nadal was a true showcase of not loosing control before and during a high-pressure situation. These are the situations that we face in our lives too, like an interview for a great job that we want so desperately or sales meeting with a prospect who could potentially give a big order. It is important to prepare well for the situation and let go of the need to control the outcome of the situation. Djokovic did precisely that and after a marathon match of five sets, came out victorious.
(2) Be the underdog
I have always felt that Djokovic does not get over the top treatment, the way Roger Federer and Nadal gets. It almost feels like they are treated better than him. He gets lukewarm response but nothing grand and loud, especially when compared to what Federer & Nadal gets. Partially it could be because Federer and Nadal had established themselves by the time Novak Djokovic entered the tennis scene. The crowd had already warmed up their hearts towards these two players, and both of them were winning most of the grand slams and major tournaments. No player was able to break the Roger-Nadal dominance. It was Djokovic who did not accept the status quo and took up the challenge and broke the code. But despite winning twelve grand slams and now 13th, it still feels that during a Nadal – Djokovic match or Federer-Djokovic match, Djokovic gets lesser support as compared to Federer & Nadal. Despite winning most of the matches against the two in the recent past, Djokovic is still in lot of ways the underdog. And it is under such scenario, when he feels the whole world is against him and he has to prove a lot to the world, that the best comes out of him. In life we all have to start from point zero when we enter a new field and there would always be some people who would be well established. They would be considered masters and we might get ignored. Instead of being discouraged and giving up, we must let it fuel us and propel us more strongly forward. Djokovic’s best comes under such circumstances.
Here is a comment I got from YouTube from a Djokovic fan, just to illustrate how other players had given up the hope of winning against Federer & Nadal:
“….But let’s be honest, these players have spent entire careers in the shadow of Federer and later on Nadal, with the conclusion that these two were invincible and nobody can do nothing about it. Then appeared this kid and won Grand Slam at age 20, became the third in the world (then the number one), and shows them that the two giants can be defeated……………
……………..I’m glad that Novak proved them wrong and that he became a true champion.”
(3) Even best of the best can loose focus after reaching a big milestone
The last grand slam won by Djokovic before this win was in 2016 and it was French open. It was big moment for him. Very few players have won all four grand slams; even Roger Federer has not won all four. So winning French open was big but that was his last grand slam win. He could not even reach the finals of any grand slams after that (except for US open 2016, where he lost). Almost for two years he struggled with form and fitness. In sports, and even in life, it is all about momentum. When we loose our orbit, it is very difficult to get back. I feel that the winning of French Open might have distracted him for a while and that’s why he started to loose matches to players who were not even in the top ten. This can happen to anyone. We all are humans and it is easy to loose focus when we reach a milestone that is considered big in our chosen field. But as Nelson Mandela famously quoted – After reaching my mountain top, I must not rest too long, as I have many more mountains to climb.
So, once you reach your milestone, take out time to celebrate, take time to rest and refuel, and then remind your self you have many more mountains to climb. And then get busy with your next climb.
If you liked this post, you would also love the post I wrote earlier –
“6 Things That I Have Learned About Success in Life From Novak Djokovic”