Novak Djokovic pays tribute to long-standing rivals Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal and says THEY are the reason he has excelled to reach 20 Grand Slam titles… but world No 1 vows his ‘incredible’ journey is ‘not stopping here’ after winning sixth Wimbledon
A triumphant Novak Djokovic warned his rivals that nothing is going to stop him trying to end the greatest of all time debate, once and for all.
The 34-year-old Serbian pledged that he would do everything to win the calendar Grand Slam at the US Open, and leave them behind in the galactic race for who ends up with the most Grand Slam titles.
‘I could definitely envisage that happening, I am hoping,’ he said, after beating Italy’s Matteo Berrettini in four sets.
Novak Djokovic clenched his fist in celebration after winning his 20th Grand Slam title
Djokovic’s win saw him draw level with Rafa Nadal (left) and Roger Federer (right) on 20 and the Serbian was full of praise for his long-standing career rivals for spurring him on
‘I will definitely give it a shot. I am in a great form, playing well and playing my best tennis at Grand Slams. This is the highest priority I have right now at this stage of my career. So let’s keep it going.
‘When I broke into the top 10 for the first time, I lost most of the big matches that I played against these two guys.
‘Something shifted at the beginning of 2011, and the last ten years has been an incredible journey. One that is not stopping here.’
He was diplomatic about whether the GOAT argument might have been settled already.
Djokovic has vowed that his ‘incredible’ journey does not end here as he eyes a 21st Slam title
‘I consider myself the best and I believe that I am the best, otherwise I wouldn’t be talking confidently about winning slams and making history.
‘But whether I am the greatest of all time I leave that debate to other people. It is very difficult to compare eras.’
Djokovic is not only on course for the calendar Slam, but could also win the ‘Golden Slam’, including the Olympics.
However, he has still not decided whether or not he will even go to Tokyo this month, and admitted that he is disappointed by the absence of spectators in Japan: ‘I hear there’s going to be a lot of restrictions in the village and possibly I wouldn’t be able to see other athletes,’ he said.
‘It’s about 50-50 because of what I have heard in the last couple of days.’
The 34 year-old Serbian was last night congratulated by Federer, who tweeted: ‘Congrats Novak on your 20th major. I’m proud to have the opportunity to play in a special era of tennis champions. Wonderful performance, well done!’.
For Matteo Berrettini he felt his Grand Slam final debut was ‘almost too much to handle’