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Australian Open tennis: Novak Djokovic meditates to ‘lose fear and stress’

Former World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open tennis tournament, said he now meditates on a daily basis.

tennis Updated: Jan 21, 2018 10:58 IST
AFP 
AFP 
AFP, Melbourne
Novak Djokovic,Australian Open,Andre Agassi
Novak Djokovic will take on South Korea’s Chung Hyeon in the fourth round of the Australian Open tennis tournament. (AFP)

Novak Djokovic said meditating has helped him overcome fear and stress that comes with playing elite tennis.

The 12-time Grand Slam champion, 30, says he often turned to the practice during his long spell out of the game last year with elbow trouble.

(Read | Novak Djokovic beats Albert Ramos-Vinolas to reach 4th round of Australian Open)

The Serb former world No.1 is playing in his first tournament since Wimbledon in July and he has a brand new support team, headed by eight-time Grand Slam champion Andre Agassi as coach.

Djokovic said after reaching the fourth round of the year’s opening Grand Slam on Saturday that he now meditates on a daily basis.

“Yes, I do. I’ll tell you what. I don’t want to tell you what I gain with it, but I’ll tell what I lose with it,” he said.

(Read | Australia Open tennis: Caroline Wozniacki cruises into quarterfinals)

“I lose fear. I lose anxiety. I lose stress. I guess, in the end of the day, that’s what you’re looking for.”

Djokovic has become involved in meticulous off-the-court preparation in recent years. He has a strict, gluten-free diet and is an advocate for well-being.

The new year has given him the opportunity to analyse aspects of his game and preparation.

(Read | Australian Open: Maria Sharapova inspired by Serena Williams to get back to top)

“When it comes to tennis, I obviously was excited to analyse my game,” he said.

“First of all, I wanted to get the right team of people around me, experts in their field, so they can contribute to the process and the journey of working on my body and my game.

“Improving different aspects that are there to be worked on. Thankfully there is always something to work on.”

(Read | Roger Federer beats Richard Gasquet to reach Australian Open fourth round)

Djokovic said apart from tennis he has always looked at ways to improve himself, which he terms his “philosophy of life”.

“It has always been, not just for tennis, but in general there’s always something that you can improve and get better at as a person and as a player,” he said.

“That’s probably the most exciting thing about life, is that every day is a new opportunity for you to get better.”

Djokovic faces South Korea’s “NextGen” star Chung Hyeon in Monday’s round of 16.

First Published: Jan 21, 2018 10:58 IST