Novak Djokovic, who beat Roger Federer to claim the U.S. Open title on Sunday, says parenthood has made him a better player. (Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
For Novak Djokovic, Sunday night’s U.S. Open win — his 10th major title — was extra special. “I’m enjoying this year even more than any of those before because I’m a husband and a father and it makes everything sweeter,” he said after the match.
Djokovic and his wife welcomed their son, Stefan, in October. Since then, the tennis champ has credited fatherhood with improving his game. “Life has changed and has changed for the better,” he told ESPN.com. “Knowing that you’re giving your love and your time to your baby, your child, that gives you a freshness in the mind. Being a father actually gives me more energy than it takes away.”
Last month, after winning the Wimbledon title, the 28-year-old athlete lightheartedly suggested more players take up fatherhood as a winning strategy. “Ever since I got married and became a father, I haven’t lost many matches, I won many tournaments. I suggest that to every player: Get married, have kids, let’s enjoy this,” Djokovic said. “Whether I’m winning or losing, [my wife is] always there. Family’s always there. When I go back home, I’m not a tennis player anymore, I’m a father and a husband. That’s a kind of balance that I think allows me to play this well.”
U.S. Open champion Novak Djokovic with his son, Stefan, in April. (Photo: Twitter/Novak Djokovic)
In both the U.S. Open and Wimbledon, Djokovic beat Roger Federer, who Djokovic has said gave him advice on balancing tennis and fatherhood. “Of course he can identify with what I’m going through — I’m still far off from him, he has four kids, and it’s pretty amazing to still play at such a high level with four kids,” Djokovic said of Federer last year. “We talked in Paris about certain…