Reigning world No. 1 Novak Djokovic has revealed his ambition of overtaking Roger Federer’s record Grand Slam haul of 17.
The 28-year-old captured his tenth major trophy this month following an enthralling four sets win over his Swiss rival in the US Open whom he also beat in this year’s Wimbledon final.
Federer, who last won a slam back in 2012, currently tops the list of most slams won at 17.
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Rafael Nadal had been widely tipped by many to surpass Federer’s record, however, his charge has lately lost steam following a string of poor Grand Slam performances. The Spaniard is currently stuck on the 14 slam mark.
The buck, it appears, has now passed to Djokovic. The Serbian player has remained an epitome of consistency in Grand Slam competitions of late, having won nine majors over the last five years.
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Given he is not marred by any fitness issues and enjoys longevity in his career like Federer, the chances are that he could end up becoming the most successful Grand Slam player of all times. And it seems Djokovic carries the same thoughts on the subject.
While speaking to NY Times, the Belgrade-native made known his desire of breaking Federer’s 17 slam record, but feels it could eventually come down not just to his form but the duration of his career.
He said: “I would not be truthful to you if I would say I’m not thinking about it. Of course I am.
“If I keep taking care of my body and have this kind of a mindset where I keep the same lifestyle, I think it will give me longevity, and if it gives me longevity, I think I have a fair chance to fight for a few more grand slams. Will I have longevity like Federer or Serena Wiliams? It’s kind of a game to me now. kind of a quest, seeing how far I can go.”
In the US Open final, one often got a feeling that Djokovic was up against two opponents: Federer and a boisterous crowd cheering on for the immensely popular Swiss.
Though the crowds' support of his rival was surely unsettling for the world No. 1, he made no complaints of it and thinks that Federer’s exemplary persona had earned him this support.
He said: “It’s all about enduring. True tennis fans respect somebody who shows commitment to the sport — not just shows results, but shows his passion for tennis and respects them, the tournaments, the opponents and the sport in general.
“I think the whole package is important. That’s what I try to do. It’s how I’ve been brought up, and I hope the crowd recognizes that. But in the circumstances, when I’m playing against Roger at this point, I cannot expect something else.”