Novak Djokovic admitted he’d be “mendacity” if overhauling Roger Federer’s mark of 20 Grand Slam titles was not on his thoughts.
Nonetheless, he admitted Saturday it is going to be a fantastic problem to get there, particularly with the game’s widely-hyped younger technology stepping up.
Djokovic, who despatched out an early warning forward of the official kick-off of his 2019 season with a 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 victory over Kevin Anderson to win the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, took his Grand Slam tally to 14 by choosing up the Wimbledon and US Open titles inside the span of the final 5 months.
The 31-year-old Serb is presently six majors behind Federer and three adrift of Rafael Nadal, however is more likely to sustain the strain on his rivals this upcoming season contemplating how he recaptured his dominating type within the second half of 2018.
Requested if there’s a document he goals of capturing earlier than the top of his profession, Djokovic mentioned: “I might lie if I say I didn’t need to get to as excessive as Grand Slam wins quantity attainable. That’s positively the target, the will, the purpose.
“These are in all probability the tournaments the place I need to do my greatest for the remainder of my profession, nonetheless lengthy that’s going to be, and naturally making an attempt to additionally struggle for No. 1 with everybody else.”
Djokovic has misplaced simply thrice within the final six months, however all three defeats got here towards gamers aged 22 and beneath (Stefanos Tsitsipas in Toronto, Karen Khachanov in Paris, and Alexander Zverev in London on the World Tour Finals).
On Thursday, the world primary conceded that “the face of tennis is altering” because of the inflow of recent younger expertise and he believes the ‘Subsequent Gen’ will make it tougher for him to remain on high.
“There’s a brand new technology of gamers, Nadal and Federer are nonetheless there, (Andy) Murray and (Stan) Wawrinka are coming again, Zverev is the chief of this Subsequent Gen
“Males’s tennis is pretty much as good as it may be by way of competitors, by way of personalities, it’s good to see new faces,” he mentioned after his fourth title victory on Saturday within the UAE capital.
“For me it’s going to be a giant problem and a giant ask to remain at such a excessive stage, it’s very demanding particularly as a household man. It’s totally different within the final couple of years. However I like problem in life, as a result of from the challenges we develop and we be taught. So I attempt to embrace no matter is in entrance of me, I’ve to simply accept it however I’m working for the very best.”
Djokovic now heads to the Qatar Open in Doha subsequent week the place he faces Bosnian Damir Dzumhur within the opening spherical.
Later in January, he’ll start his bid to win a seventh Australian Open title.