If there is one thing that keeps Serbia’s Novak Djokovic motivated despite being on top of the tennis world, that’s to embrace even more greatness.
World number one Djokovic said on Wednesday that breaking Roger Federer’s record of 17 Grand Slam titles is his fuel to keep his desire of lengthening his stay at the top of the rankings burning.
He said that Federer’s Slam record is in his sights – in a season where the Serb challenged all four Grand Slam finals and bagged three of them to hike his grand total to 10.
“Nothing is impossible. I have that kind of mindset. I know that it’s still a long way to break his record,” Djokovic, 28, stated at the Shanghai Masters, moments after putting away Martin Klizan, 6-2, 6-1, in the first round. “But people even mentioning and talking about it, obviously it flatters me. I’m honoured to have such compliments.”
“But, you know, it’s one of the things that motivates me to keep going, of course. I love this sport. I feel like there are many more years in front of me.”
The record of 14 majors listed by Pete Sampras was untouched for seven years before Federer overtook it in 2009. The 34-year-old Swiss came close to extending it beyond 17 when he fought in the championship rounds in Wimbledon and the US Open.
“Hopefully if I’m able to sustain this level of dedication and level of performance, the way I play tennis, I think I have a good chance to compete for the trophy on any Grand Slam in the future,” said Djokovic.
“But, again, I’m at the peak of my abilities now. Just depends how far and how long I can go. I can’t predict anything. But I’ve achieved a lot so far in my career. I feel like there is a lot more to come.”