Novak Djokovic is actively eyeing his eighth Australian Open title, 8th AO Title while discussing his inspirations and a possible future for the young tennis stars in the sport.
Djokovic looked back on his motivation for staying at his best despite his age. The 32-year-old is hoping to win one more title in the Australian Open as he is already nearing the twilight of his career to win 8th AO Title.
‘My rivalry with Roger and Rafa is one of the motivations for me to still keep going at this age’, said the 32-year-old Djokovic. ‘The three of us have inspired each other throughout our rivalries and careers to be better, to understand how we can overcome obstacles in the matchups’.
‘I am more grateful today to be in the same era with these two guys than I was probably 10, 15 years ago (smiling). I think that definitely rivalries with them made me very, very strong, very resilient, and also very motivated that I am still today’, he added.
This would be his fifth major, and he will surely battle against these greats in coming up with his first major for this year.
‘Roger has talked about this as well, Rafa as well, that age is just a number. It’s not just a cliché, but it’s really something that I feel like the three of us have in common’, said Djokovic. ‘It’s really the way we approach career and our everyday life
The World No. 2 said that he has finally found a way to make the most of his private and professional life.
‘I think we found a way, a formula, to balance private-professional life so we are able to kind of excel in tennis and still be able to compete at the highest level after many years, still be motivated, still be mentally fresh’, he explained. ‘Of course, physically prepared and fit to compete in best-of-five sets with young players that are coming up. They’re obviously very hungry to reach the great heights and fight for the biggest trophies in sport’.
The emergence of young stars had him worried. They are getting better and better after every tournament. 23-year-old Russian Daniil Medvedev battled Nadal back in the 2019 US Open final, and was able to push the Spaniard to five sets.
Last November, 21-year-old Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas came up with a win on the Nitto ATP Finals, which saw him cruising past some great players in the game – including World’s best Roger Federer.
‘They’re coming closer and closer. It’s obvious. Medvedev had a great fight with Rafa in the last Grand Slam in US Open of last season’, he continued. ‘Tsitsipas played semis here last year. Dominic Them twice finals in French Open. They’re very, very close. They’re literally one set away
The Serbian player thinks that it gets harder and harder to beat the game’s young players as they get slower while the youngsters get faster. He thinks that it would be tough to battle against them against title matches.
‘On a given day, in the very near future, I think that can happen. It’s going to happen. It’s inevitable’, said Djokovic.
Despite those concerns, he is still aiming to win his eighth title in the Australian Open, and that includes his 900th match win. He will be playing against Jan-Lennard Struff in the first round. He does not plan to be aggressive unlike in his previous matches.
‘I just actually kind of put a level down a little bit, just tried to keep the sessions a bit shorter, with good intensity. That’s all, just maintain the right rhythm for the first match’, said Djokovic ahead of the match.
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