Skip to main content

Father's recovery gives Djokovic focus

November 9, 2012 -- Updated 2158 GMT (0558 HKT)
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic celebrates after Tomas Berdych on day five of the ATP World Tour Finals in London.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic celebrates after Tomas Berdych on day five of the ATP World Tour Finals in London.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Novak Djokovic reveals that his father's condition is steadily improving
  • Srdjan Djokovic was hospitalized at the start of last week before son lost in Paris
  • Serbian has bounced back on court this week in London, reaching ATP semifinals
  • U.S. Open champion Andy Murray also through to last four in season finale

(CNN) -- Novak Djokovic has a smile on his face again -- and not just because of his perfect record at this week's ATP World Tour Finals.

At the start of last week, the Serbian tennis star was battling with the news that his father had been taken seriously ill.

It badly affected his preparations for the Paris Masters, and he lost his opening match.

Srdjan Djokovic was hospitalized with a reported acute respiratory condition, but his condition has since improved -- which has allowed his son to find focus for the $5.5 million season-ending event in London.

"Well, it was hard. It still is, but there is good news every day," said the world No. 1, who lost his grandfather in April just hours before playing a match in Monte Carlo.

World's best tennis players face off
Novak Djokovic under the spotlight
Novak Djokovic: Sportsman of the year
World No. 2 Roger Federer continued his domination of fifth-ranked David Ferrer on day four of the ATP World Tour Finals. World No. 2 Roger Federer continued his domination of fifth-ranked David Ferrer on day four of the ATP World Tour Finals.
Federer flies into semifinals
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
>
>>
Federer moves into ATP semifinals Federer moves into ATP semifinals

"That makes me happier, makes me play more relaxed on the court. I switch off on the tennis court. I try to think only about the match and it's been working well so far.

"Every win means a lot for my family and me. But there are more important things in life, and that's health. I guess that's the priority now."

Djokovic is through to the semifinals of the elite eight-man tournament following Friday's 6-2 7-6 (8-6) victory over sixth-ranked Czech Tomas Berdych, which gave him a 100% record in three Group A matches.

As he did in Wednesday's win over world No. 3 Andy Murray, Djokovic was forced to battle hard and he saved three set-points to prevent the match going to a decider.

"I played a really good match but I thought he served better towards the end of the second set. I was fortunate to come back and win in straight sets," said Djokovic, who ended Berdych's hopes of repeating last year's progress to the semifinals with his 11th win in their last 12 encounters.

It took him to 73 match victories this year, equaling the leading mark set by David Ferrer.

Djokovic won the tournament in 2008 its final staging in Shanghai, but last year failed to qualify out of a group including Berdych.

He ran out of steam following a breakthrough season in which he toppled Rafael Nadal from the No. 1 ranking and claimed three of the four grand slam titles.

Berdych will now look forward to next week's 100th Davis Cup final, where he will lead his country against Spain.

Murray also made it through to the last four in London, beating Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-2 7-6 (7-3).

The U.S. Open and Olympic champion needed only to win the first set to go through, following Berdych's defeat, and did so with few problems before Tsonga made a match of it.

Murray and Djokovic must wait for Saturday's Group B results before finding out who they will play on Sunday.

Wimbledon champion Roger Federer has already secured a semifinal place, but the result of his match against Juan Martin del Potro will decide who tops the group.

World No. 5 Ferrer -- who has a tour-leading seven titles this year -- can also go through if he beats Janko Tipsarevic and defending Federer wins his third successive match.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1800 GMT (0200 HKT)
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 14: Rafael Nadal of Spain sails a boat during day two of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 14, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.
March 21, 2014 -- Updated 1107 GMT (1907 HKT)
Tennis star Venus Williams reveals how she is beating the autoimmune disease that derailed her career.
March 5, 2014 -- Updated 1014 GMT (1814 HKT)
After two decades dedicated to the game, Amelie Mauresmo wants a second life -- one away from tennis.
Rafael Nadal of Spain wipes his face after losing his men's final match against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during day 14 of the 2014 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.
Almost five years to the day after reducing Roger Federer to tears at the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal shed a few in his own loser's speech.
February 2, 2014 -- Updated 0248 GMT (1048 HKT)
Li Na outperformed Maria Sharapova at the Australian Open, but can she now surpass the Russian as the world's richest female athlete?
Roger Federer may have lost again to Rafael Nadal in the business end of a grand slam, but he can take some heart from yet another record says CNN's Will Edmonds.
January 21, 2014 -- Updated 1358 GMT (2158 HKT)
Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg, Novak Djokovic and Boris Becker -- today's tennis stars are teaming up with past legends of the game.
January 15, 2014 -- Updated 1859 GMT (0259 HKT)
Can't stand the heat of the first tennis grand slam of 2014? Then you clearly haven't been doing enough Bikram yoga.
After nearly a decade without any real change at the top of men's tennis, CNN's Will Edmonds looks at next generation of future stars.
January 9, 2014 -- Updated 1314 GMT (2114 HKT)
Ana Ivanovic is still seeking to rediscover the form that took her to the top of the rankings -- but she has found a new lease of life.
January 6, 2014 -- Updated 1142 GMT (1942 HKT)
As a teen sensation, Bernard Tomic had the tennis world at his feet -- but he's in danger of blowing it, says Australian great Pat Rafter.
ADVERTISEMENT