Winning isn't everything for Djokovic

Since his 2016 French Open win, he has suffered early exits in Grand Slam events - baring a straight sets loss to Stan Wawrinka in the US Open final.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic is focused on being happy in his personal life ahead of the Wimbledon Tennis Championship.   -  AP

Novak Djokovic maybe coming into Wimbledon on the back off one of his worst phases of his tennis career, but his primary concern is to remain happy in his personal life.

His last major success came last year in the French Open, when he held all four major titles for the first time since Rod Laver in 1969. Since then he has suffered early exits in Grand Slam events - baring a straight sets loss to Stan Wawrinka in the US Open final.

The 12-time Grand Slam winner has suffered set backs with his coaching team when he parted ways with Boris Becker and long-standing advisor Marian Vajda.

Andre Agassi stepped into coach Djokovic for the French Open and will continue to do so at the All England Lawn Tennis championships.

With doubts around his motivation towards the sport ahead of the grass-court tournament, Djokovic admitted to reporters that chasing a fourth Wimbledon was not his immediate goal.

"When I was winning constantly and being dominant in the tennis world, you're happy, you feel like everything is kind of revolving around tennis," Djokovic told reporters at Wimbledon on Sunday.

"But it's not like that. Some other things were suffering during that time. So it's always figuring out what's the right balance to be completely in peace and satisfied with yourself.

"I used to base all my happiness on winning a tennis match. I think many athletes today are doing that.

"So I try not to do that any more. I would love to win every single tennis match, but I don't try to take that as the very essential moment in my life which determines my happiness.

"It's a different approach, but I'm still here and I'm still motivated."

Djokovic has taken to consulting regularly with 'spiritual adviser' Pepe Imaz, a former player who runs a tennis academy in Spain for underprivileged children, called "Amor y Paz" (love and peace).

In recent months Imaz's influence has been seen in Djokovic's new habit of forming a heart shape with his hands and gesturing to the crowd after he wins a match.

Material success

Djokovic didn't reference Imaz as he talked about his new perspective on life, but he conceded he prefers to define himself as a person first rather than a tennis star these days.

"It seems to me that everything is observed through the lens of material success, who lifts more trophies gets more respect, more fame, more money, and a better status in the society," he said.

"For me, it's equally important, even more important, to take care of myself as a human being. What goes around off the court, as well."

Success may not be Djokovic's main motivation, but with his world ranking down to fourth, he took the unusual step of entering the grass-court tournament at Eastbourne this week.

It was the first time the 12-time Grand Slam champion has played a competitive tournament between the French Open and Wimbledon since 2010.

Djokovic, a three-time Wimbledon winner, won the Eastbourne title on Saturday and he hopes his extra time of grass will help him have a strong run at the All England Club.

"I felt like I needed a proper tournament rather than just playing couple of exhibition matches," he said.

"I'm glad I made that decision because it was a very positive experience on and off the court.

"People were very kind. It was a great week with a lot of good, positive energy.

"Just overall very happy with the way it went, and where my form is at."

Djokovic will be joined at Wimbledon by his new coaches Andre Agassi and Mario Ancic, a Croatian who once beat Roger Federer at Wimbledon.

"Mario's someone I've known for so many years," Djokovic said. "He's happy to spend some time with Andre and myself during Wimbledon.

"We'll see how everything flows, see where that takes us."

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