Novak Djokovic, the world primary and newly topped champion for the seventh time on the ATP Finals in Turin, makes his debut this Thursday within the Davis Cup quarter-finals towards Cameron Norrie. The Serb, who desires to cap the season with the title within the prime competitors for international locations, sits down with MARCA to speak about his profession, his objectives and rivalry with the opposite two members of the Large Three.
You’re the document man in tennis, what’s the subsequent document you take into consideration to beat?
That is a great query. In all probability the document for many titles. I need to win as many tournaments as potential and cross Connors. There are at all times information on the horizon that may be damaged. Likewise, I need to have my very own information and my very own historical past, that is a very powerful factor. To win the large titles, I’ve to take care of the extent of depth, dedication and motivation.
Juan Carlos Ferrero, coach of Carlos Alcaraz, says that his pupil has to study from you when it comes to professionalism, in residing by and for tennis.
It is good that he says that about me. I’ve plenty of respect for Ferrero, ranging from the truth that he was primary. I used to be at all times impressed by how skilled he was and the seriousness with which he devoted himself to tennis. It’s apparent that he has helped Alcaraz rather a lot not solely to attain success but in addition to take care of humility and a champion’s mentality. Due to Juan Carlos and his household’s upbringing, he’s extra mature than his age suggests. He’s solely 20 years previous, however on the observe he behaves like somebody who has plenty of expertise and maturity.
Alcaraz has been the one one to have overwhelmed you this yr on a giant stage. Do you suppose that makes the truth that you had been in entrance of him within the Wimbledon remaining even larger?
It could be a query for Carlos, however I’ve no pangs of conscience. I attempt to look forward and in all the nice finals that I’ve misplaced there may be at all times a motive. I attempt to study from it and the expertise of shedding a Grand Slam remaining motivates me much more. I misplaced at Wimbledon and since then I’ve gained all the things aside from the match with Sinner within the group stage in Turin. If I analyse the yr, I might say that it was good to lose to Carlos as a result of it motivated me for the remainder of the season.
You could have commented a number of instances that you simply can’t be associates with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for the straightforward motive that they’re your two nice rivals. Do you suppose they’re blissful that you simply beat all their information and all of the information?
It is true that we will not be associates as a result of with associates you discuss all the things, the great, the dangerous, your secrets and techniques. Together with your rivals I do not suppose you’re feeling very snug revealing all that. Within the final 15 years I’ve seen extra of Nadal and Federer than my mother and father. Which means they’ve been an important a part of my life and my profession. I’ve unimaginable respect for them and for the rivalry we have had for thus lengthy. It has been a protracted journey collectively and once we grasp up our racquets we’ll take a look at it in a extra relaxed method.
Nadal confirmed that he’s again subsequent yr. You stated you’d love one final match with him. Is there wherever particularly you want to play?
I believe lots of people would love it to be at Roland Garros. Why not? Though in the event you give me a selection I might say wherever else. Roland Garros would not be dangerous, however Nadal is the participant who has gained there probably the most instances within the historical past of the event. I believe wherever could be superb for us and for the tennis world. It could be form of like a final dance. I do not know what number of extra instances we’ll have the prospect to play one another or if we will play one another. I hope we do as a result of that is what all people desires and I do too.
If somebody involves you with a bit of paper and says: in the event you play till you are 50, you may equal or beat Nadal’s French Open titles, will you signal it?
I do not know, I am certain my spouse would not be very blissful. I’m very happy with all the things I’ve achieved. I would not have to take a look at Rafa’s document in Paris. I’ve many who I am happy with and which are a part of historical past. If I had been to retire proper now, I might solely be blissful and happy with what I’ve carried out.
You left the door open the opposite day to profitable all 4 majors and the Olympics in 2024. Is it life like to consider the Golden Slam on the age of 37?
Was it life like to suppose I might win three of the 4 Grand Slams this yr? 5 years in the past and even one or two years in the past, I do not suppose folks thought that was potential. I do know myself and I do know that if I really feel good bodily and mentally I am able to doing it. I do not need to sound disrespectful to my opponents. I do know there are literally thousands of gamers combating for a similar objective, however I do know who I’m and I consider in myself.
You might be one Olympic gold in need of the medal you must full your honours record. Is the most important problem for subsequent season a podium end on the Roland Garros clay?
It’ll be a wierd feeling for me to play the Video games on the Roland Garros. It will likely be just like the sensation I had in 2012, when it was at Wimbledon. I believe it was the primary and the final time it was performed there with colored shirts and never the white ones. The Video games are a really particular competitors. I like the Olympic village, I like the opening ceremony, the sensation of representing my nation in a very powerful occasion on this planet of sport. It isn’t a straightforward event for tennis gamers as a result of we have now a really tight schedule. From Roland Garros we go to grass after which once more to clay. Then comes onerous courtroom in a brief time frame, however I am prepared for the problem. I hope to be wholesome sufficient to compete in Paris at my greatest stage and attempt to win the Olympic gold.
How would you prefer to be remembered the day you formally say goodbye to the game of racquetball?
Other than the information, I want to go away a legacy for these to return. I want to be remembered as somebody who used the platform that tennis permits me and my standing to assist different gamers in order that extra could make a residing from the racquet.