Novak Djokovic opens up on childhood ‘trauma’ and how fireworks trigger him in emotional interview

Novak Djokovic has spoken about his challenging childhood in Belgrade and he has suggested the experiences had helped him to become a champion on the tennis court.

Djokovic grew up at a time when his nation was involved in a bitter and bloody war, with his nation cast as the villain of a story that made his life hell as he tried to find his way in the world.

That experience has helped to toughen up the 24-time Grand Slam champion and in an interview with the Today Show in Australia, he has gone into details on how he has been affected by the traumas of his childhood.

When asked whether the strength he finds to overcome adversity on court is due to the steel he has inside him from his first experiences as a child, he offered up this telling response.

“I don’t know to what extent, but there is definitely some connection to my upbringing,” he said.

“I was 12 when we had bombings nonstop for two and a half months, day and night.

“At times it appears, mostly when I hear fireworks. When I hear that sound it really reminds me of those bombs exploding, grenades and stuff.

“It’s not super pleasant, I still have a bit of trauma.”

He was also asked about the challenges of travelling and leaving his wife and two children behind for long spells and he admits that is becoming more challenging.

“I do struggle with that more and more as time goes on,” he continued.

“Australia is a long trip, probably the longest trip we have in the entire year. Being away for five weeks is quite a lot.

“My son is nine, my daughter is six, every day, every week they change, there’s a lot happening.

“My daughter’s first tooth went out and I wasn’t there for that. But it’s all about balance.”

Djokovic lost in the semi-finals of this year’s Australian Open to Jannik Sinner and after that match, he cast some doubt over how long he will continue to spend time away from his family as he appeared to hint his tennis career may end sooner than previously expected.

“Let’s see how things will unfold in the future,” he stated. “When you leave the court after a loss, the head is still hot – you are fighting to be rational, but there are many irrational thoughts going through your head.

“I want my thoughts to settle – when I calm down, I will move on and see what tournaments I will play.

“I made a commitment to myself that I will give it my all this year, with the priority being Slams and the Olympics.

“We’ll see whether something will change, in this stage of my life and my career some surprising decisions are maybe more expected compared to twenty years ago.”

Meanwhile, Djokovic continues to set new landmarks in tennis as he has started his 410th week as world No 1, which sees him lead that statistic for a remarkable 100 weeks more than his nearest rival Roger Federer.

So even though he headed out of Melbourne questioning how much longer he can fend off the threat posed by rising stars like Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz, the records this great champion has set despite his challenging start to life will endure long after he hangs up his rackets for the last time.

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