We haven’t had many Instagram Lives lately but with 24 hours notice Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova they would be doing one.
Here is just some of the chat from their talk which is all available on Novak Djokovic’ Instagram page. (please note all quotes are not 100% accurate word for word but a fair representation of conversation)
First time they met
MS – Played this exhibition when we were young at Indian Wells
MS – we played mixed against each other, ND said if you win I pay dinner and they went for dinner at Japanese place
MS – you pulled out an old Kodak camera and asked waiter to take a photo
MS – I felt like I auctioned myself for dinner
MS – I think you were a fan boy
Since Maria retired
ND – I wanted to know more about your transition into retirement
MS – different than what I thought due to the current challenges
MS – despite finishing tennis I was really motivated on the next step.
MS – I was very stubborn last few years with my body
MS – we know it’s a hurdle and we get through
MS – I struggled a lot as I thought it was hurdle I could get past
MS – calls staying with her family ‘entertaining’ and a ‘nice word’
MSD – do you wanna go hit some balls on the court?
MS – no, no, no
MS – I was ready for the transition and Ive set up a good base for that
Cooking & Qurantine
MS – are you cooking?
ND – somedays we have chefs but somedays as a family. I do breakfast but Jelena does more
ND – quarantine added an anxiety to me regarding when season continues and what will happen
ND – as a sports person you need to know what you calendar looks like
Ms – define out of your comfort zone
ND – philosophical
MS – uh oh, were not hugging trees are we?
ND – have you been to Joshua Tree Park?
MS – I haven’t but it’s on my list
MS – good treess?
ND – amazing trees
Djokovic talks about interest in world health, mental health, spiritual health
Beginning of Career
MS – at the beginning of your career you struggled with your body
MS – I used to think are you going to get your shit together?
MS – our game and results always did the talking for us
MS – I admire you’ve taken the weaknesses from your early career and taking in facts to improve
ND – we all want to win but what we do before we walked out onto court can determine how we do. Health, recovery etc…
MS – You were one of the first few who spoke about changing diet
MS – not all of us can be that disciplined
MS – I come home and want that chocolate bar or ice cream
ND – I have my guilty pleasures too)
ND – ice cream, peach compost
MS – biggest celebration? Food alcohol?
ND – I don’t drink for many years,
Hungover going into match?
MS – never played a match hungover. One match I slept 3 hours (not because of alcohol) final before Rome and I played Carla and I won in 3, if this is how it feels being hungover I don’t want to be in it
ND – Never played a match hungover
MS – that’s soo boring
ND – I have had crazy nights during the Davis Cup weekends and I have been hungover watching other guys play.
MS – knowing you weren’t going to play?
ND – errrrr, knowing no chance of me going to play
ND – no,no,no,no
ND – I remember I did play, doubles match v Sweden. I came back off first Wimbledon and first No.1 in 2011, I traveled London to Sweden next day. I said I didn’t want to be part of my matches, somehow played doubles and I didn’t see the ball very clearly… let’s keep it at that!
ND – I was always amazed with level of intensity on and off the court
ND – how did you stick to that intensity?
MS – a lot comes from beginnings. When I moved to the USA, I was always the odd one out in group or tennis clases. The duckling in her own little world, skinny, frail and not the best English but I was good and had potential.
MS – It wasn’t a terrirotory for friendship but what I was meant to be doing. The focus and concentration came to me more naturally.
MS – I utilised this to myself better than other poeple.
MS – I had great strokes and serve when I was younger, I had to work. It didn’t come naturally.
MS – I was always on this edge and that nothing was going to come easy for him, I had to work for it.
MS – Themaria that closes the door in the car on route to the tournament is different from the one in a practice week
MS – no one talks, I’m thinking, visualing, game plan, nerves, pressure
MS – its’ you and your personality, were entertainers in this shield and character of mine
MS – I never pretended to be someone who I wasn’t
MS – they were al qualities that made up Maria from day 1, atlas I was consistent with it.
MS – even though mindset is and was greatest strength but learning to get it back when it wasn’t in our favour or when it was lagging.
Recovery and Emotions
ND – I think recovery in mental and emotional sense is something I have personally worked on in my training
ND – for me, right now tennis it was different, about winning achieving goals and dedicated to that purpose.
ND – now in last 4/5 I realised also becoming a father I’ve seen dimensions of myself I didn’t know were there.
ND – tennis now represents battlefield and school of life now for me.
ND – on a tennis court I get triggered like no where else in my laugh
MS – laughs
MS – I agree, except I think I did a better job at hiding it than you
ND – exactly
ND – so for all the young tennis players and kids out there listening don’t watch my videos from where I’m breaking rackets.
ND – I did have a lot of these outbursts and emotional breakdowns and I still have them on the court. I have them less but I still throw a racket, scream and then I understand the distinction and difference between my behaviour, myself and who I truly am that’s when I felt it’s easier for me to except I’m going through these stages that I have flaws, that I make mistakes and I’m going to feel this way because it’s a super high intensity. There’s a lot of pressure, your by yourself and there’s nowhere to hide. You either win or you lose, it’s all up to you!
ND – So experiencing all these emotions sometimes gets the worse out of me but then at the same time the mental training of focusing on the recovery, accepting that this is it, I can’t turn back the time and change what I’ve done, I’m not proud of it but at the same time I accept it. I try to channel whatever energy that I have into positive and constructive things for me to be able to win a tennis match for example or to be a better human being in general.
MS – I have to say that all sounds really great!
ND – what’s your procesS?
MS – I think I rely and never mind showing my weaknesses, I was very comfortable as were so exposed. I always felt comfortable showing the truth and weakness, characteristic and flaws, it’s not perfect but who we are .
MS – especially in women’s tennis the momentum switches during a match, anything could happen at anytime.
MS – I believe I was mentally tougher than my opponent, it wasn’t like I was telling myself that and talking myself into it. I grew up with that belief because I felt it and it was my weapon.
MS – there were moments where I would give my coaches looks, there were moments things were working during a match and you try to find answers from your team/people. It was kind of like an act like it’s not me its you.
MS – because of momentum changes, I knew if I were a bit more patient I could perservere not playing my best tennis. It felt like a game to me and I liked that game, I felt like I was better at that game.