Tennis star, Novak Djokovic made a shocking revelation, when admitted he almost gave tennis away after his 2017 injury.
Thank God he didn’t, because his incredible return from injury last year saw him win two grand slam titles, earned him the Laureus Sportsman of the Year Award on Monday at a lavish ceremony
The Serbian, who included the Australian Open in January to the Wimbledon and US Open crowns he won in 2018 after coming back from elbow surgery – won the award for a fourth time, beating the likes of France’s World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe and NBA superstar LeBron James.
31-year-old Djokovic was excited with his award being voted on by the 68 members of the Laureus Academy which includes sporting legends such as nine-time singles grand slam champion Monica Seles and Britain’s six-time Olympic track cycling gold medalist Chris Hoy.
“Last year was an incredible season for me, returning from injury to win Wimbledon and the US Open is something I’ll remember forever,” said Djokovic.
However, he appeared close to tears as he made the heartbreaking revelation that he considered retiring from the sport during his lengthy stint on the sidelines.
“I did think about leaving tennis,” Djokovic said. “I did not find myself in a good balance. It took me several months to find that purpose and meaning again.
“This award reflects and symbolizes this journey. Reflecting on it standing here now it seems like a fairytale story but it tells me one thing.
“In those moments of when you are facing adversity and challenges you should always look inside. I did not understand that fully before but now I know where I can always find strength and belief and to keep on going.”
Djokovic’s honest and humble speech won plenty of applauds from the audience.
By Olukayode Oniwinde