Novak Djokovic on Wednesday said taking out Roger Federer’s record of 17 Grand Slam titles was one of his main motivations as he looks to prolong his stay at the top of men’s tennis.
The world number one said Federer’s magic total wasn’t out of the question after a year in which the Serb contested all four Grand Slam finals and won three of them, taking his total to 10.
“Nothing is impossible. I have that kind of mindset. I know that it’s still a long way to break his record,” Djokovic, 28, said at the Shanghai Masters, after cruising past Martin Klizan 6-2, 6-1.
“But people even mentioning and talking about it, obviously it flatters me. I’m honoured to have such compliments.
“But, you know, it’s one of the things that motivates me to keep going, of course. I love this sport. I feel like there are many more years in front of me.”
Pete Sampras’s record of 14 majors stood for seven years before Federer surpassed it in 2009, and the 34-year-old came close to extending it beyond 17 when he contested this year’s Wimbledon and US Open finals.
“Hopefully if I’m able to sustain this level of dedication and level of performance, the way I play tennis, I think I have a good chance to compete for the trophy on any Grand Slam in the future,” Djokovic said.
“But, again, I’m at the peak of my abilities now. Just depends how far and how long I can go. I can’t predict anything. But I’ve achieved a lot so far in my career. I feel like there is a lot more to come.”