Novak Djokovic says he’s not jealous of any records held by his biggest rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal but that his success wouldn’t be what it is without them.
The debate rumbles on throughout tennis about who is the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) amongst the top three, but Djokovic believes that they are all focused on their own individual goals and have positively affected each others’ games.
“I respect all of my opponents’ records,” said Djokovic who is targeting his 18th Grand Slam title at this year’s Australian Open.
“[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.”
Djokovic is currently three behind Federer and Nadal in Grand Slam titles with 17, but with age on his side, there are many opportunities ahead for the Serbian to not only match the record but break it.
He has also made no secret of the fact that one of his biggest goals is to take the all-time record for numbers of weeks ranked as world number one, a position he currently holds.
The record stands at 310 weeks by Roger Federer and with Djokovic currently on 307 weeks, he will take over the record on March 8.
“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.”
“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.”
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