Turin: After winning a record-equalling sixth ATP Finals title, Novak Djokovic said it was the yearning for more success and the love of tennis that still inspires him to get out of bed.
The 35-year-old Serbian loves to make history and his main goal is the overall record for Grand Slam titles, held by great contender Rafael Nadal with 22. The pair should clash in the Grand Slam opening of the Australian Open season in January. Nadal won this year’s edition with Djokovic, who refuses to be vaccinated against Covid, after being expelled from Australia.
Djokovic also missed the US Open because he was not vaccinated. He played Wimbledon and retained his title. However, as his body got older and aches and pains became a feature of daily life, Djokovic said he had to find a reason to rub his eyes with sleep and jump out of bed.
“In those moments when you feel pain, this or that, you probably don’t feel like getting up in the morning,” Djokovic said after defeating Casper Roud to become the oldest player to win the season-ending tournament.
“There must be something, whatever it is for all of us, that gets us out of bed. “It’s the heart, it’s the mind, whatever life force or fuel is for you.” Fuel is success for Serbia.
“For me, hunger is still what someone asked me about,” he said. “It’s unquestionably a love for the game. A passion. I love the game.” This love fuels his desire to make history.
He’s already achieved a lot, though he said the record 373 weeks as the world number one was closest to his heart and one he had “worked his whole life” for. “Of course, he made history in the sport of tennis, which is of course my favorite sport, the sport that has given me so many privileges in life and benefits,” he said.
“Why don’t you give it a try? Why don’t you dream about it? I have no problem saying that I have the biggest goals, that I want to be the best, that I want to win every tournament. “I don’t think that’s not being humble. I just feel like it’s important to respect everyone in the game but still be confident in yourself. I don’t see anything bad about that.”
Djokovic said that recovering from a tough match — such as his three-set battle that ended after just over three hours with Daniil Medvedev on the ATP Finals pool stage — and preparing for another match takes a lot of soul-searching.
“I think someone asked me after Medvedev’s thriller, Where’s the cap?” He said. “It’s an inner battle with myself because there’s one voice that’s always telling you, ‘You can’t do that, you’re too tired’, this and that, right?
“The bad guy and the good guy. You try to feed the good guy so he gets louder and stronger than the bad guy.” “It’s that easy.”