Novak Djokovic Eyes Davis Cup Captaincy
It will be a while before Novak Djokovic decides to end his illustrious tennis career, but it hasn’t stopped the former world No.1 from speaking about what he would like to do post-retirement.
The Serbian approaches the upcoming clay-court swing of the tour with a confidence boost following a successful Davis Cup campaign. Djokovic grabbed the opening win in Serbia’s 4-1 triumph over Spain last weekend, securing their place in the semifinals. The country is bidding to reach their first Davis Cup final since 2013 and the world No.2 is keen to help them achieve this.
“I’ll do my best to be available for the semi-finals. We appreciate playing for our country, we wish that we get the strongest team and to fight with them.” Said Djokovic.
Few can doubt Djokovic’s current enthusiasm for the team event. Since 2004, he has won 34 out of 44 ties played for his country. In 2010 he guided Serbia to their maiden title in the Davis Cup after winning both singles titles. Almost seven years has past since the milestone, but the memories are still fresh in the mind of the multiple grand slam champion.
“Winning that title was, undoubtedly, one of the great moments of my career as a tennis player,” Punto de Break quoted Djokovic as saying. “It was a triumph of the whole team, of my people, to win France a Davis Cup final at home was an unforgettable experience.”
An iconic figure in Serbian tennis, Djokovic has few reservations when it comes to potentially taking over as Davis Cup captain in the future. The team is currently headed by Nenad Zimonjić, a player who has represented his counter in 53 ties (more than any other Serbian player). There is no signs of change in the near future, but given Djokovic’s credentials. A position of captain is a high probability if he wishes.
“Tennis has given me so much in my life that I can never be grateful enough for it. Someday, when I retire from my activity as a player, I will definitely consider taking the place of Davis Cup captain.” The 29-year-old said.
“I know it is a great responsibility, but at the same time it is a great privilege to be able to lead your team on a global scale and contribute with your experience and knowledge, as well as transmit the commitment to the little ones.”
The concept of a player-turned-captain is a regular occurrence in the Davis Cup. Arthur Ashe won the title three times as a player and twice as a captain. Spain’s Albert Costa has also done the double. Other notable captains include Lleyton Hewitt (Australia), Jim Courier (USA) and John Mcenroe (USA).
Whilst the future is filled with endless possibilities, Djokovic’s immediate focus is next week’s Monte Carlo Open. The current French Open champion is looking to get back on track after withdrawing from the Miami Open due to an elbow injury. Since winning the Doha Open at the start of the season, Djokovic has failed to progress beyond the quarter-final stage at three consecutive tournaments.