‘I was sobbing in my coach’s room’ – Novak Djokovic reveals the moment he ‘wanted to leave tennis’

Novak Djokovic has revealed he ‘wanted to leave tennis’ after an emotionally crushing defeat to Jürgen Melzer at the 2010 French Open. 

Djokovic was already a Grand Slam champion at that stage having won the Australian Open two years earlier.

However, he was still some way short of achieving his dream of becoming a multiple major winner, and losing the Roland Garros quarterfinal to Melzer in a deciding set hit him particularly hard.

Speaking to Chervin Jafarieh, Djokovic highlighted it as a particular low point of his career, and said he owes everything to coach Marian Vajda for getting him through it.

“I have experienced some huge challenges during my career, when I wanted to leave tennis.

“Back in 2010 when I lost in one quarterfinal match at Roland Garros I felt like my world was falling apart and my dreams were shattered, and I was not good enough to achieve what I wanted to achieve.

“I was sobbing and I was crying in my coach’s room and I was just really in a bad place.

“I was suffering, emotionally, a lot, because I just felt like I had hit the wall and I can’t go any further.

“They (his team) let me cry and let me liberate all these emotions that I was experiencing and I am so grateful for that because that was such a key moment there.

“The narrative in the sports world is that a coach has to be someone that uplifts you, shows you that you have to be stronger when you feel weak.

“For me, the best coaches are the ones who are there for you as friends and human beings, who are your shoulder to cry on and lean on, people who understand you and let you spill your guts out when that is what you need.”

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