Djokovic: ‘I’m still motivated for more Slam titles’

Djokovic: 'I'm still motivated for more Slam titles'

Ten times champion of the Australian Open and now winner of 22 Grand Slam titles, Novak Djokovic doesn’t want to stop there. At 35, he equaled the record for Slam titles with rival Rafael Nadal and remains motivated to increase his numbers. Satisfied with his level of tennis and feeling well physically, the Serbian says he has the support of his family and his surroundings to continue competing at a high level.

“I’m motivated to win as many Grand Slam titles as possible. At this stage in my career, those trophies are the biggest motivational factor as to why I’m still playing. I’ve never really enjoyed comparing myself to others, but of course it’s a privilege. to be part of the discussion as one of the greatest players of all time. If people see me that way, I’m flattered, because I know that I work as hard to win these championships as anyone else,” said Djokovic after the victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas 6/3, 7/6 (7-4) and 7/6 (7-5) this Sunday.

“I still have a lot of motivation. Let’s see where this takes me. I have no intention of stopping there. I feel great with my tennis. I know that when I’m feeling good physically, mentally present, I have a chance to win any Slam against any one. I like my chances going forward. Know that a lot of players wanted this trophy and want the number 1 position in the world. I’ve been in these situations so many times, it always helps me to keep my mind fresh and know what to expect”, comments the Serbian, who will return to the top of the ranking after seven months.

“I don’t know how many more years I’m going to play or how many more Grand Slams I’m going to play,” he said. “It depends on several things. It doesn’t just depend on my body. An extremely important fact for me is having the support and love of the people close to me, and the ability to maintain balance with my private life, but at the same time having clear aspirations for really push myself and chase those trophies. Physically I manage to keep myself in shape. Of course at 35, I’m not the same as at 25. But I still feel there’s time ahead. Let’s see where I go”.

Serbia had to deal with injury during the tournament

Despite having arrived at the Australian Open with doubts about his physical condition, due to a muscle injury in his left thigh suffered three weeks ago, in the semifinal of Adelaide, Djokovic lost only one set in the tournament. This happened against the Frenchman Enzo Couacaud still in the second round. In the first week, he also beat Roberto Carballes and Grigor Dimitrov.

“Two weeks ago I wasn’t really enjoying my chances in this tournament with the way I felt about my leg. At the beginning it was a matter of surviving each game, trying to get to the next round. Grand Slam here is that you have a day of rest between matches, and that allowed me to have more time than usual to recover and do all the treatments to put me in good condition to play and eventually win,” added the champion. .

Djokovic had fewer physical oscillations from the game against Alex de Minaur in the round of 16. He also passed Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals and Tommy Paul in the semifinal. “From the round of 16, I feel that the leg was not bothering me as much and that my movement was much better. I was able to play my best tennis being very comfortable on the court and hitting the ball very well”.

Victory over Tsitsipas in Sunday’s final

The duel against Tsitsipas this Sunday was also a direct confrontation for the leadership of the ranking. But the Serb extended his great advantage in retrospect, now with 11 wins and only two defeats against the Greek. “I knew that against Stefanos it was going to be a different match than I had the whole tournament. I saw him play and I knew how dominant he was being. I knew it would be a big challenge and that I would have to stick with it. That’s what I made”.

The first set was the most dominant for the Serbian, who managed to break early. The other two partials were defined in tiebreaks, and the Serb saved a set-point in the second. “I think I started very well. The first set was very short, I think it was like 30 or 35 minutes. Then, in the second set, he was a better player and he had his chances. He had a set-point, but I held my nerves in both tiebreaks”.

Effusive celebration with the team 
The effusive celebration in the box with family members and the team was also highlighted in the official interview. “It was a mixture of pride and enormous satisfaction that I felt at that moment. When I got into my box, I broke down emotionally there and cried especially with my mother and my brother, when I hugged them, because until that moment I wasn’t allowing myself to be distracted the off-court stuff that could easily have been a major disruption to my focus and my game. It was a huge relief and release of emotions at the end.”


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