Family heartache behind Novak Djokovic's shock Wimbledon move

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Novak Djokovic, pictured here with son Stefan in Mallorca.
Novak Djokovic opted to play in Mallorca so he could spend some more time with his family. Image: Getty

Novak Djokovic has revealed the motivation behind his surprise decision to play doubles in Mallorca in preparation for his Wimbledon title defence.

The World No.1 shocked many when it was revealed that he would play his only grass-court warm-up event on the Spanish island - and he would be doing so in the doubles event.

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While many of his top rivals opted for the more traditional lead-up events at Halle, Queen's and Eastbourne, Djokovic headed to Mallorca.

And the 19-time grand slam champion has since revealed that he did so in order to avoid having to go into lockdown in the UK and spend some more time with his family.

"I wanted to spend more time with my family because once you're in London you are in lockdown," Djokovic, who will now move into Wimbledon's Covid-19 bubble, said.

Djokovic's son Stefan was spotted practicing with him on court all week, with the Serbian star looking very refreshed and relaxed.

Djokovic opened up earlier this year about his desire for more family time with wife Jelena, son Stefan and daughter Tara.

"At times it rips my heart apart," Djokovic said about being away from his family after winning the Australian Open in February.

"I will have to revise my schedule comparing to the last year or any other season before this.

"Obviously time away from family definitely is something that has an impact on me.

"I'll have to see with these rules and regulations and restrictions in place all over the world, Europe.

"Not being able to take my family on the road is something that is a big problem for me."

The World No.1 followed through with that plan when he was a shock withdrawal from the Madrid Open in May.

Djokovic made it all the way to the final of the doubles event in Mallorca before an injury to partner Carlos Gómez-Herrera forced them to withdraw, handing the title to Simone Bolelli and Máximo González.

Novak Djokovic and Carlos Gomez Herrera, pictured here playing doubles in Mallorca.
Novak Djokovic and Carlos Gomez Herrera celebrate after winning their quarter-final in Mallorca. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Djokovic out to equal Federer and Nadal's record

Djokovic will be aiming to stay on course for a calendar-year grand slam and go level on 20 majors with Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer at Wimbledon.

A window of opportunity has opened up for the 34-year-old Serb to match his two great rivals - and also become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win all four majors in the same year.

There are many obstacles still ahead for Djokovic but with Nadal not playing at Wimbledon and Federer having missed so much tennis in the last two years, he has a massive chance.

There is also the possibility he could complete the 'Golden Slam' by also winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics.

"I think that he is willing to give it a shot. I do think that he can do it," Eurosport expert and seven-time grand slam champion Mats Wilander said.

"I think he wants to show to himself that he is super-human. And I think he is super-human when I see him play.

"I think his body can handle it. I actually feel he most probably needs to play matches to keep the intensity high - so this is a year where Novak can win the Golden Slam in my eyes."

with agencies

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