Thanks to most of the top ATP players being missing, Novak Djokovic is ruling this year’s Rogers Cup in Toronto. The world No. 1 didn’t fare so well at Wimbledon this past month, so he is using the Rogers Cup as a way to boost his rankings as well as to prepare for the Olympics.
“I actually think that Toronto is a great way for me to prepare for the Olympic Games and what’s coming up after that,” Novak said to ESPN. “But also, you know, I enjoy my time in this tournament that I always love playing.”
The good thing is that a lot of the top-ranked ATP players are not participating at this year’s Rogers Cup for various reasons. Roger Federer pulled out of Olympics and the rest of the season to heal his knee injury, Rafael Nadal is trying to get his body in order prior to Rio, and Andy Murray, the winner of Wimbledon, has chosen to focus on his training in Mallorca to maximize his chances of winning the gold medal.
Novak Djokovic made it to the quarterfinals of Rogers Cup after an easy win over Radek Stepanek, 6-2 6-4. Now, he faces Tomas Berdych, who also had an easy win over his quarterfinal opponent. Winnings Rogers Cup would secure his spot as the reigning world number one.
The 29-year-old tennis player doesn’t seem too stressed about the Rogers Cup or the Olympics. The latest post on his Twitter is a rather chirpy picture with his celebrity friend, who happen to be training in the same gym as he is in Toronto.
He also has been clocking in some serious family time as a fairly new husband and even newer father. His wife, Jelena Ristic, has been following him around the tournament circuit so that they can all be together as he trains for the Olympics.
Check out a sweet picture of Novak and Jelena that she uploaded on her Instagram!
If only there was another half of the photo to show how much Novak was enjoying this moment! His face can show a bit of it though... ???? While I was hugging him, a very nice lady was giving him a Chinese foot massage! On the beach! By the sea side! How amazing is that?! And it was so random, she just happened to see us hugging and started saying how we need to get a foot massage. Of course Novak volunteered after his tennis practice ???? He was in a state of pure happiness! The great thing about love is that we can be happy when the person we love is happy! Me smiling is because I LOVE when he is HAPPY ???? ???????? So this photo is all about HAPPINESS! ❤️❤️❤️???????????????????? #precious #grateful #love
Even before Wimbledon, he made time to hang out with his loved ones before he started his short-lived campaign for the championship.
“Novak Djokovic is acclimatising to London with less than a week to go before the start of Wimbledon, posting pictures on social media of himself and wife Jelena on the London Underground,” reports the Telegraph. “The Serbian tennis star took to the District Line like a duck to water and both he and Jelena tweeted selfies with other passengers – though very few of the Londoners appear to have realised they were sharing their carriage with the men’s world No 1.”
I'm officially a Londoner. Best way to avoid the traffic :) pic.twitter.com/3aVtYDKvO7— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) June 20, 2016
Novak Djokovic is more than ready for the Olympics, and he expressed that he will not let Zika virus stand in his way of his gold medal.
“I did get more information on it, and my decision is to go to the Olympic Games. Because, from the information that I got, it’s not as it’s presented, not as dangerous,” he said, according to the National Post. “Of course, there is always a possibility that you can get the virus, but I think maybe the fuss and the buzz about the virus has been created with some kind of other intent that I’m not going to get into. For me, it’s safe enough and I’m going to go.”
The bigger worry will be for his wife Jelena and baby Stefan, who will most likely be accompanying him to Rio to see him in action.
In fact, not a lot of athletes have pulled out of Rio Olympics because of Zika. While it is a big worry, the fact that the games happen once in every four years, not a lot of them are willing to forego their moment of glory.
Do you think it was a smart decision for the world number one to participate in Rogers Cup instead of following the other top ATP players and focus on his training? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
[Photo by Tim Ireland/AP Images]