If you hear someone playing the saxophone in Turin this week, there is no guarantee it is a musician. It might be Novak Djokovic.
Following his win at the Nitto ATP Finals on Wednesday, the five-time champion told Tennis Channel’s Prakash Amritraj that he wants to learn the saxophone. During his press conference, the Serbian explained that he has the instrument with him in Taly.
“Saxophone was one of the most difficult things to learn. I haven’t been really dedicated to practise lately, I must say,” Djokovic said. “I do have it with me here. I did not unpackage it yet. It’s still in the bag due to the constrictions I have in the hotel, and I want to spare my wife and my team and everybody who is staying in the hotel.
“I want to spare them the terrible noise that comes out from my saxophone as I am a beginner, so I still have to learn.”
— ATP Tour (@atptour) November 17, 2021
Djokovic famously is a language expert, who is often able to speak to crowds throughout the world in the local language. After his wins this week in Turin he has spoken in Italian, for example. Something else he wants to improve in is his musical ability.
“I love all the instruments, but saxophone somehow attracts me because it’s a very universal instrument that can go with different type of music in different environments and different ambience, and I just like it very much,” Djokovic said. “It’s inspiring that it’s very challenging to learn saxophone, probably more difficult than quite a few other instruments.
“Maybe one day I’ll be able to play it well so that I could perform together with this great DJ that Torino has here, so maybe in few more years’ time. Who knows?”
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There was a nice moment after Djokovic’s victory against Andrey Rublev when the Serbian gave a kid one of his hats. Following his on-court media obligations, the top seed stayed to sign autographs and take selfies with a large number of fans.
“I understand how unique the opportunity is for a lot of children that maybe come for one match to see top players play, and they want to make a picture or they want to have something, a souvenir, or they want to have an autograph,” Djokovic said. “I try. It’s not possible to satisfy everyone, but I try to be there, especially for the young people and kids, because I was in that position, as well.”
Djokovic hopes to create more memories for the Italian fans this week at the Pala Alpitour, where the Nitto ATP Finals is being held for the first time.
The 34-year-old, who won three of the four majors this season, can tie Roger Federer’s record by claiming a sixth title at this event. Djokovic, who has already booked his place in the semi-finals, has the fans’ support.
“I really feel at home here in Italy, and it definitely helps me connect with people, the fact that I speak Italian,” Djokovic said. “People love tennis and they support me and appreciate me being here, so I can feel that energy and I can feel that connection.”