Belgrade: World No.1 tennis player Novak Djokovic has spoken of his desire to spend more off-court time with his contemporaries but regrets that their competitive spirit comes in the way of his wish.
“With some players I do (see them out of working hours) but unfortunately with the top players, some say, ‘Not possible’, but I think it can be possible that we get to go on dinners," Djokovic was quoted as saying by news.com.au Wednesday.
“But I understand this kind of mindset that if you are great rivals there is a sense of competition that makes it hard to be open and friendly and go out for dinner or holiday trips.”
The 27-year-old also shed light on why the trio of No.2 Roger Federer, No.3 Rafael Nadal and former Wimbledon and US Open champion Andy Murray were close to him. The trio, together with Djokovic, form the "Big 4" of tennis hierarchy having won 36 of the 39 Grand Slams from the 2005 French Open to the 2014 US Open.
“The time might come for us after we are done with our active careers but we have to consider the fact I have seen Nadal, Federer, Murray, more than my own mother over the past five, six years so that’s why I consider them very close in my life,” the Serbian said.
Djokovic also opened up about how he got to where he is now, the winner of seven Majors and holder of the number one crown and credited his first coach for his rise.
“Even though she has not been around for a couple of years I always feel her presence," he says of Jelena Gencic, the Belgrade-based coach who nurtured his racquet work from the tender age of six.
“She was probably the biggest tennis fanatic that I have met or have known and she shared this passion with all the people around her,” he added after becoming the new brand ambassador of Jacobs Creek Wednesday.