Novak Djokovic: ‘I would be nothing in life without the two Jelenas’

Novak Djokovic has paid a heartfelt tribute to his wife and former coach on the cusp of his Australian Open defence.
The 10-times Serbian Grand Slam winner pinpointed the role coach Jelena Gencic had on his development from aspiring youth to world number one before she died of breast cancer at the age of 77 in 2013.
He also praised the influence of wife Jelena in a pre-tournament interview before the year’s first Grand Slam begins at Melbourne Park on Monday.
“It’s like ying and yang,” says Djokovic in an interview with the Guardian. “You can’t function to your biggest potential and abilities as a human being and as a man without a woman by your side and vice versa.
“Somehow that’s how I see it. You always need to have a partner in your life, somebody you can rely on, somebody that can support you in good and bad times. ”
“Somebody that can listen to you and help you evolve and grow your character and strengths. That’s what both Jelenas have done for me in my life…they have been the most influential people I’ve had.”
Djokovic is favourite to claim a fifth Australian Open in six years to add to his successes in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015.
“I think, for me, a holistic approach to life is everything,” he said. “So I can’t separate myself and my being, physically, from mentally from emotionally from spiritually. It’s all one person. Novak Djokovic the tennis player is the same person as the one who is off the tennis court.
“I think it’s important to respect the sport,” comments Djokovic. “Always try to respect your opponents – and leave this sport with dignity and understand that you are part of something that is greater than you. Tennis is greater than all of us.”

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