Novak Djokovic on Tuesday said he almost gave in to overtures to switch nationality to British whe he was made offer.
Djokovic who won 17 Grand Slam titles (third behind Roger Federer’s 20 and Rafael Nadal’s 19), winning eight Australian Open (absolute record), five Wimbledon, three US Open and a Roland Garros.
He triumphed on five occasions (including four in a row, absolute record) at the ATP Finals.
In his palmarès there are also 34 Masters 1000 tournaments, in addition to the bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, a Davis Cup and an ATP Cup with the Serbian national team.
In an interview with World Tennis, the World number 1 was asked how much consideration he gave to changing nationalities.
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“I was doing really well in the junior international tournaments so tennis agents spotted me. And we got an offer to change our nationality to British nationality. It was a very tempting offer as it would have solved all of our problems but we didn’t go for it” – he said.
He also talked about how he got into tennis and how it was odd that he played tennis out of all sports: “I fell in love with tennis when I was 4. My dad bought me a tennis racquet and there were 3 courts in front of my parents’ restaurant.
The athletic gene runs in my family so it was no surprise I started playing a sport. But it was odd that I played tennis as my dad, my uncle and my aunt were competitive skiers. My parents hid the sacrifices they made pretty well but there were times they could not.
“I remember one time my dad pulled out a 10 Deutsche Mark bill and said that is all they got. But somehow, my parents found a way cause they were a great team”.