The Serbian got here inside one win of a twenty first Grand Slam title final week that may have moved him clear of a tie with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal and in addition made him the one man in 52 years to declare all 4 main titles in the identical 12 months.
Djokovic will hope his loss to Daniil Medvedev in Sunday’s US Open last was simply a blip and few would guess towards him resuming regular service in January on the Australian Open, the place he will likely be looking for a report tenth title.
Neither 40-12 months-previous Federer or Nadal, 35, have been in New York as a result of of accidents and if their careers haven’t fairly reached an finish, they’re actually nicely into the start of the top.
Daniel Vallverdu, who has coached some of finest gamers exterior the ‘Big Three’ during the last decade in Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka and Juan Martin del Potro, is intrigued about what meaning for Djokovic.
“As long as Roger and Rafa are still playing I think there’s going to be a big motivation for Djokovic to keep going,” the Venezuelan advised Reuters.
“I will be very interested to see what happens with Novak after Roger and Rafa decide to stop. I think if they’re still around, he will still have a lot of drive.”
Australian Todd Woodbridge, a 9-instances Wimbledon doubles champion and a singles semi-finalist, advised Wide World of Sports that Djokovic wants Federer and Nadal to problem him and whereas the Serbian may nonetheless win couple of extra majors, the domination of the ‘Big Three’ was over.
Djokovic admitted in New York that he had been exhausted by the bodily and emotional toll of his unimaginable run at majors in 2021 however stated the need for extra success remained.
If he’s missing any motivation, there are nonetheless a few milestones to hold him targeted.
Having already bettered Federer’s report for the longest spell on the prime of the boys’s world rankings, he may overhaul Steffi Graf’s all-comers mark for the game — 377 weeks — in June subsequent 12 months.
A thirty seventh Masters 1000 title would edge him forward of Nadal as probably the most profitable participant in these elite tournaments, whereas one other French Open title would make him the one participant within the Open era to have received all 4 Grand Slam titles 3 times.
Presuming he lands Grand Slam title quantity 21, the subsequent massive mark could be Margaret Court’s 24 main crowns, a report that Serena Williams has additionally been chasing since successful her twenty third in 2017.
Notwithstanding the chance of Federer and Nadal growing their very own tallies, Vallverdu thinks that may simply be the objective to hold Djokovic going.
“I will be very interested to know where he finds his next motivation,” he added.
“Once he achieves number 21, he will find a way to motivate himself. I think it will be more difficult for him to motivate himself if Roger and Rafa are not around.
“But realizing the sort of competitor that he’s and the way hungry he’s at all times to hold reaching new data … that is in all probability a good goal for him to attempt to get to 24 and 25 to move that report of Margaret Court.”
Although only a year younger than Nadal, any talk of the imminent playing demise of the uber-fit and highly disciplined Djokovic are surely well wide of the mark.
Dominic Thiem, who won the US Open title last year but was unable to defend it because of injury, does not foresee any dip in intensity from the Serbian.
“After he received in Roland Garros, everyone was solely speaking in regards to the calendar slam,” Thiem told Omnisport.
“So it may occur that it additionally makes him even stronger subsequent 12 months, when all these talks and all this strain will not be that massive anymore.”
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