Novak Djokovic admits he 'still has passion' for the sport ahead of ATP Tour return

Novak Djokovic revealed that passion is still fuelling his motivation to compete at the top of men’s tennis, despite his list of accolades.

With the retirement of tennis legend Roger Federer, the grand slam race has become a straight shootout between Djokovic (21) and rival Rafael Nadal (22).

Aside from this, the Serb has topped the charts in nearly all the important metrics in tennis and at 35-years-old with a family of four, one would forgive him for shifting focus. 

But in an interview with atptour.com, Djokovic reassured tennis fans that he still has the hunger for victory.

"I still want to play tennis even though I achieved pretty much everything that you can achieve in tennis," said the world number seven.

"I still have passion and hunger to play at the highest professional level.

"There isn't one secret or one key that solves all the problems. It's a combination of things that are part of your character: who you are, how you train, what's your lifestyle. It all creates the image of success."

While Djokovic finds comfort in the familiar, he admitted he has to reinvent part of his game to deal with the like of rising star Carlos Alcaraz, whose recent US Open victory moved him to the top of men's tennis at just 19-years-old.

"That formula [has] worked for me... but I also try some new things, because I always want to progress," continued Djokovic.

"Especially when you have guys like Alcaraz, who is full of power and adrenaline. So you always have to figure out how to improve and take yourself to a higher level."

Aprt from a couple of matches at last weeks Laver Cup, Djokovic has been out of the ATP circuit since his 21st grand slam win at Wimbledon in July.

But the former world number one is set to play at the Tel Aviv Watergen Open, with his first singles match on Thursday. The likes of Marin Cilic and Diego Schwartzman are set to challenge Djokovic on the hard courts of Israel, where he is the top seed.

READ MORE: What does tennis' future hold without Roger Federer?

Latest news