Australian Open 2021 - Novak Djokovic denies being 'jealous' of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer
Novak Djokovic is just two Grand Slam wins away from equalling Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on 20 titles, and the Australian Open is his most prolific Slam with eight titles already. The Serb says he is not jealous of the success of his two main rivals, even if he does have one of Federer's records at the front of his mind.
Novak Djokovic of Serbia (C) watches the Men's Singles first round match between Filip Krajinovic of Serbia
Published 09/02/2021 at 07:37 GMT | Updated 09/02/2021 at 07:39 GMT
Novak Djokovic says he is not “jealous” of the successes of his fellow men’s GOAT contenders, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, as he aims to move ever closer to their mark of 20 Grand Slams at the Australian Open.
“I respect all of my opponents' records,” said Djokovic. “[Roger and Rafa] are legends of our sport, and I admire them a lot. They have positively affected my game and my growth, my development and all my success wouldn't be what it is if these two guys were not there.
So I have had tremendous rivalries with these two guys and we still keep on going. But I don't want any of their success, if you know what I mean. I'm not jealous of their success or anything like that. I try to build my own career and my own success.
“I have been fortunate, without a doubt, to experience a lot of success and break records in our sport that I obviously love and am very passionate about. Of course, I am always motivated and inspired to achieve big goals and break records.”
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However, one record Djokovic does have his sights on is Federer’s 310 weeks as ATP number one, and with the Serb currently on 307 and sitting pretty at number one, it will soon fall to him.
“I have been very transparent about the fact that one of my biggest goals is to try to reach the No. 1 all-time weeks record, and I'm getting closer and closer to that one,” said Djokovic.
“Obviously, that's kind of a lifetime achievement for me and Grand Slams, as well. Of course, I think I have managed to be very consistent at the [ATP] Masters 1000 events and win a lot of titles there. Those are the biggest events that we have on the Tour other than Grand Slams.
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“I respect and study the history of the game and the guys that paved the way for all of us that are here at the moment. I'm just very fortunate to be in the situation and position that I'm in at the moment, so I [will] try to keep on going and obviously set up new goals for myself.
“Because I feel like other than [the] passion and love that I have for the game, the biggest reason why I still play [tennis] is exactly that pure emotion that I have of enjoyment when I'm [out] there.
“So I feel [that] over the past 15 years, [after] everything that I have managed to achieve, I don't settle for anything less but [being at] the top of the men's game and [winning] the biggest trophies. That's something I always aim for. I work towards that. I'm still lucky to be where I am.”