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Djokovic addresses retirement question after French Open victory

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Novak Djokovic french open
Novak Djokovic. Photo/The New York Times
  • Djokovic acknowledged that thinking about Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer keeps him inspired to break records
  • Federer retired in 2022 with 20 grand slams while Nadal has 22 slams and is set to retire in 2024
  • The Serbian remarked that Nadal and Federer defined his tennis career

Shortly after winning the 2023 French Open to finally grab his 23rd Grand Slam, Novak Djokovic has spoken about his retirement.

Speaking post-match after thrashing Casper Rudd Djokovic dispelled rumours of retirement. Djokovic acknowledged that thinking about Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer keeps him inspired to break records.

Federer retired in 2022 with 20 grand slams while Nadal has 22 slams and is set to retire in 2024. He was categorical that retiring is far-fetched because he still wants to play tennis in years to come.

“Of course [the] journey is still not over. I feel, you know, if I’m winning slams, why even think about, you know, ending the career that already has been going on for 20 years,” he stated.

“So I still feel motivated, I still feel inspired to play the best tennis on these tournaments the most, you know, Grand Slams. Those are the ones that count I guess the most in history of our sport.”

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic. Photo/Sky SPorts

The Serbian remarked that Nadal and Federer defined his tennis career because he always compared himself to these guys. They were his biggest rivals who he has had in his tennis career.

Their fame and tennis prowess defined the world No. 1 as a world-class tennis player. He credits his successful tennis career to Nadal and Federer who he always had on-court rivalries.

The 36-year-old acknowledged that despite outpacing them, his competitors took too much mental space.

He played with them for 15 years and there always were endless hours of thinking and analysing what it takes to win against them, especially in grand slam tournaments.

So it’s amazing to know that I’m one ahead of both of them in Grand Slams, with Rafa, but at the same time, everyone writes their own history. So, you know, I still think that everyone has a unique journey that they should embrace and stick to,” he added.

Meanwhile, Djokovic appeared to be in charge of the match in the finals even though Ruud broke him in his first service game of the match. He won a delicately composed, taxing first set that lasted almost 90 minutes.

Carlos Alcaraz with Novak Djokovic

Carlos Alcaraz with Novak Djokovic. Photo/REUTERS/Isabel Infantes

Two sets later, Djokovic reaffirmed his title as the greatest male tennis player of all time in front of other outstanding athletes like Tom Brady, Kylian Mbappé, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Wearing a personalised hoodie with “23” embroidered on the breast, Djokovic first addressed the crowd in French before addressing Ruud in English and praising him as “one of the best personalities on the tour.”

He thanked his family for being understanding, caring and patient with him because he can be difficult at times. However, their support is always unwavering and unconditional which is what fuels his success on the court.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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