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Tennis

Historic gold medal outweighs empty seats

The prospect of successful an Olympic gold medal for Serbia outweighs the frustration of enjoying in an empty venue on the Tokyo video games, the boys’s world tennis No. 1 Novak Djokovic mentioned on Monday.

Djokovic thought-about pulling out of the Olympics as a consequence of COVID-19-related restrictions after successful Wimbledon this month however determined to move to Japan for what he known as patriotic causes.

Brimming with confidence in a televised interview with Montenegro’s MINA information company within the coastal republic’s resort of Herceg Novi, Djokovic mentioned Croatia’s former Olympian Blanka Vlasic had helped persuade him to not pull out.

“It got here all the way down to patriotism and my emotions for Serbia,” Djokovic mentioned after finishing a follow session on a hardcourt floor.

“I’m not overjoyed about enjoying with no followers current or concerning the varied coronavirus restrictions efficient in Japan, however representing your nation within the Olympics is indispensable.

“I got here throughout Blanka Vlasic a couple of days in the past and he or she mentioned that individuals will solely keep in mind who received the medals, not what the situations had been like or whether or not there have been any followers or not,” he mentioned.

“Her phrases caught with me and I’m delighted that I made a decision to participate within the Olympics. I’m impressed to play my finest tennis and assured that I can win the gold medal after an amazing run to date this season.”

Vlasic received the silver medal within the girls’s excessive bounce on the 2008 video games in Beijing and bronze in Rio de Janeiro 2016.

Djokovic, who received a record-equalling twentieth main honour when he claimed this season’s Wimbledon to go degree with friends Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, is heading in the right direction to assert an unprecedented golden slam in 2021 when he heads to the Aug. 30.-Sept 12. U.S. Open.

Ought to he win Olympic gold too — the one title that has eluded him to date — Djokovic would grow to be the primary man ever to win all 4 majors in a 12 months plus an Olympic title.

The 34-year previous from Belgrade conceded it was going to be an enormous ask, though Federer and Nadal have each pulled out of Tokyo.

“The Olympics and the U.S. Open are clearly my greatest aims for the rest of the season, and it should be demanding,” mentioned Djokovic.

“However I’m stuffed with confidence and motivated to symbolize Serbia in the absolute best approach. I’m craving for a medal in Tokyo, hopefully gold, after which I am going to go to New York aiming to finish all of it.”

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