"I know they want to get a scalp, but it ain't happening" - Novak Djokovic relishing the pressure of being the man to beat

Day Nine: The Championships - Wimbledon 2023
Novak Djokovic relishing pressure of being the man to beat

Novak Djokovic stated that he loves embracing the pressure of being the top contender in any tournament. The Serb said that while every player desires to defeat him, it wouldn't be happening anytime soon.

Djokovic defeated Andrey Rublev, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-3, in the Wimbledon quarterfinals on Tuesday. The win propelled the former World No. 1 closer to his fifth consecutive Wimbledon title. Securing a place in the semifinals, Djokovic equaled Roger Federer's record for the most Major semifinal appearances (46) by a male player.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion's quarterfinal victory extended his winning streak to 33 consecutive victories at Wimbledon. It marks his 12th semifinal appearance at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, with only Federer (13) ahead of him.

During his on-court interview, Novak Djokovic expressed that every tennis player aspires to be in a position where their opponents are eager to defeat them, considering it a true privilege.

He emphasized that pressure is an inherent aspect of the sport, which persists relentlessly, irrespective of the number of Grand Slam victories, match wins, or years spent playing professionally on the tour.

"I think any tennis player wants to be in a position where everyone wants to win against you on the court. It is a privilege. As Billie Jean [King] said, pressure is part of what we do. It’s a part of our sport. It’s never going to go away regardless of how many Grand Slams you win or how many matches you won or how many years you're playing professionally on the tour," he said.

The Serb also emphasized that the pressure is "paramount" every time he steps onto the court, especially on the Centre Court at Wimbledon. However, he added that this pressure serves as a tremendous source of motivation.

"The pressure is paramount every single time I come out on the court particularly here the Centre Court in Wimbledon. But at the same time it awakens the most beautiful emotions in me and it motivates me beyond what I’ve ever dreamed of actually. It inspires me to play my best tennis," he added.

With confidence, Djokovic acknowledged that he is well aware of the desire every player harbors of defeating him. Nevertheless, he firmly asserted that such an outcome will not materialize anytime soon.

"I know that they want to get a scalp, they want to win, but it ain’t happening, still [laughs]. Very humble!" he said.

"I would consider myself the favorite" - Novak Djokovic about him winning Wimbledon 2023

Day Nine: The Championships - Wimbledon 2023
Day Nine: The Championships - Wimbledon 2023

Following his victory against Andrey Rublev, Novak Djokovic stated that he doesn't want to come across as arrogant. However, he confidently expressed his belief that he is the frontrunner to clinch the Wimbledon title.

The Serb emphasized that his conviction stems from his remarkable track record at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, having emerged victorious in the previous four Wimbledon tournaments. Thus, he firmly considers himself the favorite to emerge victorious once again.

“I don't want to sound arrogant, but of course I would consider myself the favourite,” Novak Djokovic said. “Judging with the results I had in my career here, previous four occasions of Wimbledon that I won, I do consider [myself] the favourite.”

Novak Djokovic will next face eighth seed Jannik Sinner in the semifinals of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships on Friday.

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