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Writing my own history, says Novak Djokovic after clinching historic 23rd Grand Slam title

First Published: 12th June, 2023 11:19 IST

The 36-year-old talked about his respect for the Swiss and Spanish while comparing their accomplishments

After capturing a record 23rd Grand Slam title after winning the French Open 2023 on Sunday, an emotional Novak Djokovic was full of pride when reflecting on his historic accomplishment.
After his 7-6(1), 6-3, 7-5 victory over Casper Ruud on Sunday in Court Philippe-Chatrier, Djokovic admitted that he couldn’t help but think of the implications of winning his 23rd Grand Slam title prior to the Parisian fortnight.

The Serbian was asked during his post-match press conference to reflect on where he stands in the game.
“I knew that going into the tournament, going into the match, especially today, that there is history on the line. But I try to focus my attention and my thoughts into preparing for this match in the best way possible to win like any other match,” Roland-Garros quoted Djokovic as saying.
“For me, on a daily basis, I’m the best on the court, because with this state of mind, it’s the only state of mind or spirit that can lead to historical results and this trophy. Afterwards, statistics are there, but we have a lot of different factors. It depends on the point of view of a person or the organizations that discuss these things. So I don’t want to enter in these discussions. I’m writing my own history,” he added.
In the ATP Live Race to Turin, Djokovic has moved up to the top spot, but he still wants more. The Serbian is halfway to being the first player since Rod Laver in 1969 to complete the Grand Slam by winning all four majors in the same season. The 36-year-old won the first three major championships of 2021 before falling in the US Open final.
“The journey is still not over. I feel if I’m winning Slams, why even think about ending the career that already has been going on for 20 years? I still feel motivated. I still feel inspired to play the best tennis on these tournaments the most… I look forward already to Wimbledon,” Djokovic said.
With his victory, Djokovic moved one clear of Rafael Nadal (22 Slams) and Roger Federer, who retired last year having won 20 slam titles, in the major race.
When asked how it felt to surpass Federer and Nadal in terms of major titles, Djokovic had a lot to say about the significance of his main competitors in the development of his career.
The 36-year-old talked about his respect for the Swiss and Spanish while comparing their accomplishments.
“I have always compared myself to these guys because those two are the two greatest rivals I ever had in my career. I have said it before many times that they have actually defined me as a player, and all the success that I have, they have contributed to it, in a way, because of the rivalries and the matchups that we had,” said the 23-time grand slam champion.
“Countless hours of thinking and analysing and what it takes to win against them on the biggest stage for me and my team. It was just those two guys were occupying my mind for the past 15 years quite a lot. In a professional sense. It’s amazing to know that I’m one ahead of both of them in majors,” he added.
While acknowledging his record-breaking success, Djokovic emphasises that each player has their own tale to tell.
“It’s amazing to know that I’m ahead of both of them in Grand Slams, but at the same time, everyone writes their own history. I still think that everyone has a unique journey that they should embrace and stick to. But of course having the three of us, with Andy [Murray] of course, as well, that we cannot forget, in the last 20 years, it’s kind of reached the golden era of the men’s tennis, as people like to call it. So I’m really grateful to be part of this group of guys,” he said. (ANI)

Also Read : Novak Djokovic extends lead over Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer in ‘Big Titles’

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