Novak Djokovic lifted his sixth Italian Open title on Sunday on what was a special day for his family, as his seven-year-old son was busy winning his own tournament at home in Serbia. The world No 1 revealed after his victory that his son Stefan was playing his first club tournament and has since confirmed that he was victorious, admitting that Stefan had even inspired his own tennis and reminded him of his childlike love for the sport.
Djokovic extended his record of Masters 1000 titles to 38 with his 6-0 7-6(5) win over Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday but admitted that his son Stefan, who had been at his last Masters win in Paris-Bercy, wasn’t watching his victory because he was busy playing his own tournament, where he made it two for two in the Djokovic family by winning the event. The Serb said it felt like a “sunshine double” for the family, and admitted that it was the seven-year-old who had inspired him with his approach to tennis.
“Well, the journey started successful,” he said of Stefan’s first foray into competitive tennis. “My son won the tournament today. I just received that news. A sunshine double today. It’s a very small club tournament. Obviously it doesn’t really matter. The result is secondary. It was nice to see him playing.”
The 20-time Major champion also explained he had never pushed his son into tennis, and instead it was Stefan who fell in love with the sport, something that he was taking as motivation. “I have to remind myself, I have privilege to be father of wonderful kids. I try to take that energy, childish energy, and fuel my inner child because I tend to forget about my inner child a lot.
“Everything is so serious. It’s your profession. It’s your job. You got to be this. You got to be that. You got to be disciplined. Sometimes we take life too serious. They remind me of that connection, that pure energy.” Djokovic also said he had been speaking about the tournament with Stefan, who was staying up late to practice his swings.
He said: “Obviously we had a chat last few days about the routines and the things he should do before the match. I was kind of leading him into this world. It was interesting to see how he responds to that. Obviously you have to speak in their language about things that I feel like it could help him.
“The first official tournament or match always stays in your memory very fondly. I really wanted him to enjoy it on the court. Shortly that we spoken, he was on the cloud nine with all the family, my parents, my wife’s parents, everybody there supporting him. It’s nice.