Olympics-Tennis-As selfie requests pile up, Djokovic thrives on Games' energy
Novak Djokovic is no stranger to going viral, but the 20-times Grand Slam champion has been even more visible on social media this week as the Tokyo Olympics got under way.
TOKYO: Novak Djokovic is no stranger to going viral, but the 20-times Grand Slam champion has been even more visible on social media this week as the Tokyo Olympics got under way.
The 34-year-old has been a centre of attention in the Athletes' Village, obliging with requests for selfies, sharing meals with others and dispensing advice to seemingly dozens of competitors from other disciplines.
"It's just so special, you know, it's so special," Djokovic told reporters after his second round win over Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany.
"This happens once in four years. Of course, I try to balance things out with keeping my own, you know, routines and things that make me feel good, but I'm thriving also on that wonderful energy."
A video of Djokovic sharing some winning tips with Turkish athletes made the rounds over the weekend, along with a photo of him doing the splits with a pair of Belgian women's gymnasts.
Djokovic, who is aiming to become the first man to win all four Grand Slam titles and Olympic gold in the same calendar year, declined to say what he had shared with the athletes. But he said he appreciated the chance to interact with other sports figures at the Games.
"I'm not counting, I'm just trying to enjoy every second and really, it's a unique event," Djokovic said.
"In the village with 10,000 plus athletes, exchanging knowledge, experiences - about life, about sports - you don't get to have that kind of experience anywhere else."
(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Hugh Lawson)