Not content with challenging Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the men’s Grand Slams record, Novak Djokovic has Serena Williams and Margaret Court in his sights after claiming an astonishing ninth Australian Open title.
Djokovic’s bold statement followed Sunday’s final, when he ended a turbulent tournament marked by a muscle injury and media attacks by humbling Daniil Medvedev.
Djokovic’s 18th major crown placed him within striking distance of the men’s record of 20, jointly held by Nadal and Federer. But the Serb also raised the prospect of a bigger goal: reaching the 23 held by Williams, and even the 24 won by Court straddling the amateur and Open era. “Getting closer to maybe Roger’s, Rafa’s record, Serena, Margaret,” said Djokovic.
“Everyone has their own journey and their own way of making history. They’ve made history already. They made a tremendous mark in our sport. “I think about winning more Slams and breaking records, of course. And most of my attention and my energy from this day forward, until I retire from tennis, is going to be directed in majors, trying to win more major trophies.”
The Serb’s 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 win over Medvedev, who was on a 20-match winning streak, was also a sobering moment for the younger players hoping to dislodge the Big Three.
“The three knights of tennis,” Djokovic smiled. “Roger and Rafa inspire me,” he added. “I think as long as they go, I’ll go. In a way it’s like a race who plays tennis more and who wins more.
“It’s a competition between us in all areas. But I think that’s the very reason why we are who we are, because we do drive each other, we motivate each other, we push each other to the limit.”
Most Grand Slam titles
Men’s singles. Rafael Nadal – 20. Roger Federer – 20. Novak Djokovic – 18
Women’s singles. Margaret Court – 24. Serena Williams – 23. Steffi Graf – 22
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