Novak Djokovic eyes Paris Olympics title | Tennis News - Hindustan Times

Novak Djokovic eyes Paris Olympics title

ByAvishek Roy, Madrid
Apr 23, 2024 05:34 PM IST

The Serb who won three Grand Slams and finished as year-end world No.1 won the 'World Sportsman of the Year' award at the Laureus Sports Awards

Novak Djokovic had an incredible 2023 winning three Grand Slams, leaving his younger rivals much to ponder. There's no slowing down for the Serbian at 36, not even after extending his Grand Slam singles victories to a record 24. His next big stop will be the Paris Olympics, a title that has eluded him four times.

Novak Djokovic won the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award(Laureus)
Novak Djokovic won the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award(Laureus)

"I hope I can play my best tennis at the Olympics. Who knows if I will get another chance to play at the Olympic Games. They only come every four years. I recently said I really wanted to play at least until the LA Olympic Games in 2028 but at this stage of my career you never know what can happen or how far I can go," said Djokovic, who was awarded the Sportsman of the Year at the Laureus Sports Awards in Madrid.

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He won bronze at his maiden Olympics in Beijing 2008 but could not lay his hands on the title in the next three Olympics. "If I didn't think (gold medal) it was possible, I probably wouldn't be playing. You have to believe that everything is possible in life. I will try to use this chance as best as possible."

Going by his hot streak in 2023, Djokovic will be a favourite in Paris. He won at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and the US Open last year. At Wimbledon, Carlos Alcaraz beat him in a five-set classic. By the end of the year, he won a record seventh ATP Finals title and claimed the Year-end No. 1 ranking for a record eighth time.

"The Olympics Games are the oldest and most prestigious sporting event in the history of sport. It's a huge honour to represent Serbia at the Olympic Games and I hope I can be healthy and fit," said Djokovic.

On a memorable evening at the historic Palacio de Cibeles in the heart of the city, Djokovic won his fifth Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award. With old rival Rafael Nadal and new challenger Alcaraz in attendance, Djokovic reflected on an exciting long career as he received the trophy from Tom Brady, the seven-time Super Bowl champion.

“I am incredibly honoured to have won my fifth Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award. I think back to 2012, when I won it for the first time as a 24-year-old. I am very proud to be here 12 years later."

“It was thrilling to return to Australia last January and win my 10th title. It is a tournament that is so dear to my heart and set me up for an incredible 12 months. I could not have achieved so much success without an incredible team behind me, and inspirational rivals who have always pushed me to be the best version of myself.

“This award is so special because they represents recognition from the 69 world-class athletes who make up the Laureus World Sports Academy. I am truly blessed to be among sports greats as a winner, but also as a supporter and admirer of Laureus Sport for Good as I too believe in the power of sport to make a difference in the world.

There were other exceptional performers of the year who held the coveted trophy. Jude Bellingham's incredible impact at Real Madrid saw him win the 'World Breakthrough of the Year Award. Simone Biles had a great comeback with four world championship medals last year and won the World Comeback of the Year Award. Spain had a lot to look forward to with its women's world cup winning football team awarded 'Laureus Team of the Year Award.'

List of Winners:

Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award: Novak Djokovic

Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award: Aitana Bonmatí

Laureus World Team of the Year Award: Spain Women’s Football Team

Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award: Jude Bellingham

Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award: Simone Biles

Laureus Sport for Good Award: Fundación Rafa Nadal

Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award: Diede de Groot

Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year Award: Arisa Trew

Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award: Aitana Bonmatí

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