Novak Djokovic explains ‘biggest reason’ he keeps playing after Paris Masters victory

Tennis: Djokovic thanks fans after breaking record

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Novak Djokovic has opened up on what he calls his “greatest success”, and admitted it has nothing to do with tennis. The Serb completed a successful week at the Rolex Paris Masters by rewriting history yet again, as he secured the year-end No 1 ranking for a record seventh time, and won the tournament to hold a record of 37 Masters 1000 titles. It was also the first trophy he won in front of both his children, Stefan and Tara, and he opened up on how they keep him playing professional tennis.

Djokovic made a winning return to competition last week in Paris, having spent almost two months away from the match court after a devastating loss to Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final.

However, he was able to turn things around and get revenge over the Russian in Sunday’s final, coming from a set down to win his sixth Paris Masters crown with a 4-6 6-3 6-3 victory.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion was also able to secure a seventh finish as year-end No 1 with his three-set win over Hubert Hurkacz in the semi-final, his big goal for the end of the season.

Topping off a weekend of record-breaking, the world No 1 was able to celebrate with his children, who were in the crowd to watch their father lift a record 37th Masters 1000 trophy.

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Djokovic’s four-year-old daughter Tara joined her father’s players’ box for the first time this week in Paris, and he ended the week in a warm embrace with his two children after sealing victory over Medvedev.

Despite writing his name in the history books once again, the 86-time title winner admitted that Stefan, eight, and Tara were his “greatest success”.

“It’s very special. I’m very grateful and blessed to have this opportunity,” Djokovic said on Tennis Channel, of having his children in the crowd.

“It’s one of the biggest reasons why I keep on playing.

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“I always dreamed of having my children in the stands, with them being old enough [to understand].”

The world No 1 shared the emotions of having his son and daughter watching him win a title for the first time.

He added: “This is what life is all about, sharing these moments with the dear ones. My children are my greatest success, my greatest treasure.

“I’m just overwhelmed with emotions having them on the court today supporting me. It brings love and joy to my life.”

Stefan and Tara were also in the crowd on Saturday, watching their father clinch the year-end No 1 ranking for a record seventh time, having previously shared the record with his “idol” Pete Sampras.

Speaking of the achievement – something he previously outlined as his end-of-season goal when arriving in Paris-Bercy – Djokovic admitted it was “surreal” to surpass his hero.

“I consider myself a student of the sport, and I really respect and admire all of the past champions that paved the way for me and all the generations that are playing tennis right now,” the Paris champion said.

“We are enjoying the benefits of this game in every sense because of the past champions that made the tour the way it is today.”

“I’m very grateful for that. Of course, when I surpass one of the past champions, particularly someone that I looked up to when I was a kid like Pete Sampras, it means the world to me. It’s kind of a surreal feeling.”
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