Novak Djokovic has shared a beautiful letter after his Wimbledon triumph, in which the Serb discusses the mental and physical demons he had to overcome to realise a lifelong dream.
The former world number one capped off a remarkable comeback from career-threatening injury to win his fourth Wimbledon title after a straights sets victory over South African Kevin Anderson.
An emotional Djokovic spoke afterwards about how amazing it felt to have his son in attendance at the All England Club as he was presented with his thirteenth grand slam trophy.
Now – in an incredibly heartfelt letter posted on his website – the 31-year-old has opened up about the trials and tribulations he had to endure to make his latest success a reality.
“In 2017, the injury of my right elbow was so severe that I was forced to be out from the Tour for 6 months,” the letter read.
“Injury was one of the issues, the other big one was any motivation. I didn’t have problems to practice and to enjoy the tennis court but I had mental hurdles when I had to compete.
“I have always respected people that share their most vulnerable moments as their turning points in finding true strength that inspires so many people.
“I was vulnerable so many times in the last few years. And I am still vulnerable. I am not ashamed of it. In contrary, it makes me more true to myself and others.
“For the last 2 years, I wasn’t patient with my tennis expectations. I wasn’t wise in strategising. And I certainly wasn’t clearly hearing my body telling me that there is something serious happening with my elbow.
“I was trying to find solutions somewhere else and solution was always inside of me.
“After many changes made with training, racket, team members, I didn’t know if I would be able to get back on the desired level of tennis.
“Fortunately, I had help from all the divine forces that guided me to the right direction. Direction that is good for me. The one that will bring me peace and balance.
“I am aware of the efforts and dedication that many people have invested in me in the last few years in order for me to get back to the level of tennis that gets me a Grand Slam title.
“I would like to extend my greatest appreciation, respect and Love to all of the people that have believed in me and helped me to get to win another Wimbledon trophy.
However, it’s when Djokovic turns to the subject of his family that the Serb’s real sense of emotion resonates the strongest.
“When I became a father, one of my biggest dreams was to have my children present at the stands while I am playing. Let alone winning trophies. That dream came true several days ago.
“Everyone keeps on asking me to describe the feeling. I have said it is unforgettable, special, fulfilling, wonderful, joyful. But most of all, it is Magical!
“When I thought that moment could not get any better, he shouted “Daddy, Daddy!” That’s when I completely melted.