Novak Djokovic practises with seven-year-old son ahead of Wimbledon quarter-final

The defending champion was pictured playing with Stefan ahead of his quarter-final match

Novak Djokovic and his son Stefan during his practice session on day eight of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships (John Walton/PA)
Novak Djokovic and his son Stefan during his practice session on day eight of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships (John Walton/PA)

Novak Djokovic has been practising at Wimbledon with his young son ahead of the quarter-finals.

The defending champion was pictured playing with seven-year-old Stefan on Court Three at Aorangi Park – the practice court in the south-west London grounds – ahead of his next match against ItalianJannik Sinner later this week.

Footage shared on social media shows Stefan throwing his father the ball as the top seed worked on his serve.

The pair could also be seen playing around as the seven-year-old jumped on his father’s back.

It comes after Djokovic shared a photo of his son last week, in which they both are seen hitting a forearm in similar poses.

Posting the pictures to Twitter, he wrote the caption: “So cool to see this” and tagged his wife Jelena.

Novak Djokovic and his son during his practice session on day eight of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships (John Walton/PA)

Asked about the photos after his fourth-round win against Dutch player Tim van Rijthoven on Sunday, Djokovic said his son is “in love with tennis right now”.

Referring to suggestions that his son’s swing looks like that of Rafael Nadal, the 35-year-old joked: “Yeah, no. He likes to do that. He likes to intimidate me on the court with finishing the swing here.”

“We have this kind of funny moments on the court,” he later added. “I try to use every available opportunity, possibility, time to play with him because he’s right now fully immersed into tennis.

“Everything around tennis, how he can play, he’s watching, he’s analysing. We’re talking.

“Last night when I was putting him to bed, he was asking me questions,” Djokovic added, saying Stefan asked about racket head sizes and strings.

“He’s in love with tennis right now,” the 35-year-old continued. “It was fully his own desire to really pursue tennis so of course I’m going to be there for him.

Novak Djokovic and son Stefan (John Walton/PA)

“I never force him to be on the tennis court, but if he wants, I try to always make myself ready to be there and play with him.

“Of course I will support him in any possible way I can so that he can be (a) professional tennis player if he intends to, if he really wants to. But it’s too early to speak about it, to be honest. He’s not even eight years old.”

The 20-time grand slam champion said their relationship as father and son comes “before anything else”.

He also spoke about how he believes trying different sports as a child is “super important”.

“I was growing up with skiing, football, tennis, martial arts, different things,” Djokovic said.

“I feel like it’s very important to have, particularly at this young age, a lot of stimulus to the children from different perspectives and different sports and different movement, different activities.

“I don’t like children very early just doing only one sport. I feel like it’s important to try different things because it will help the development of the brain and also motoric skills.”

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