Serbia has children with talent for sport
Novak again spoke about the Academy he plans to establish.
“I am passionate about opening a world-class academy. We have many children with talent for sport, particularly tennis. Until the opening of the academy of Janko Tipsarević several years ago, we did not have an academy or a similar system in this part of the world, and I am glad that we now have two in Belgrade. That is the requirement for future success and development of this sport in Serbia. Tennis in Serbia is dying. Some 10-15 years ago, we had 8,500 registered players of all ages, and now we have fewer than 1,500. One of the main reasons is because club tennis is not what it used to be. We do not have quality competition on club level, and that is the most important thing for players. A tennis player needs to have an environment where they can compete with others, build rivalries and friendships, develop social skills, and clubs offered that in my time. I see that talented children today train 1 on 1 with coaches, and that is not a good way. Of course you need a quality individual program, but you also need to be surrounded by people like you, who play on the same level or even better than you, who will motivate you. Such an environment develops mental and emotional character. Fortunately, I was surrounded by people like Jelena Genčić who influenced my life with advice on the court and outside of it. Activities with them helped me build character. These healthy habits came to me very early, and I don’t see that in youth today. At the academy, we are planning to change that and to create a holistic approach. Additionally, the youth need to show discipline about wanting to succeed. It’s not enough to just train, you need to adapt and dedicate your life to it,” Novak explained.