World No. 1 Novak Djokovic says he is a fan of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s philosophy as he insists Ibrahimovich is the “symbol of the Balkan mentality.”
Ibrahimovic plays under the Swedish flag but he has Balkan roots.
Djokovic and Ibrahimovic share mutual respect and admiration for each other.
“I like his philosophy, when he says, ‘the older I get, the younger I feel.’ He is truly a symbol of the Balkan mentality, the strength to never give up and great self-confidence. I recognize myself in that saying: he has the mentality of a champion who respects others, but who enters the field with an awareness of his qualities that arise from his work ethic,” Djokovic told La Gazzetta della Sport.
Djokovic bounced back from the US Open final loss
Djokovic returned to action last week at the Paris Masters.
In his first tournament since suffering a disappointing US Open final loss, Djokovic put up a strong week to win the Paris Masters.
Former world No. 1 Justine Henin was amazed by how Djokovic bounced back after one of the toughest losses of his career.
“He is totally unique,” Henin told Eurosport. “I think it’s really about time – even though there are a lot of people who obviously respect his huge career – that people realise what he is achieving. You can like Novak Djokovic, you can dislike him, there are many people who don’t fancy his character, but what he is doing in his career, what the champion is doing, is simply extraordinary.
“There are not many who can bounce back like he can. We talk about today, but we can go back to a year ago, after the US Open (disqualification against Pablo Carreno Busta), we also thought we would find him hurt. And despite everything, even if he loses in the final at Roland Garros, he is still there. After that, he rebuilt himself, he won the Australian Open, and his ability to bounce back is just phenomenal.”