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"I was raised to be sincere, I don't like pretending" - Novak Djokovic on publicly targeting Federer's No. 1 record

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic
Modified 23 Oct 2020, 01:35 IST

Novak Djokovic harbors regrets about not winning either the US Open or the French Open this year. But now he is focused on breaking two of the most important records in men's tennis - most weeks as World No. 1, and most Grand Slam titles.

Djokovic was speaking at a press conference on Thursday in Serbia before leaving for Vienna, where he will compete in the ATP Erste Bank Open next week. The Serb stated he has no problem in openly stating his ambitions, even though some people may not like it.

Novak Djokovic won the Australian Open in January and has a 37-2 record in 2020. However, those two losses occurred at the two all-important Slams - a fourth round default at the US Open, and a loss to Rafael Nadal in the French Open final.

During the presser, the Serb reiterated that winning the most Grand Slams remains one of his big goals. While Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are tied on 20 Majors each, Novak Djokovic's Australian Open title was his 17th Slam win.

“There is a little regret because I have not won a trophy in New York or Paris since I have been in extraordinary form for both,” Novak Djokovic told reporters.
“At the French Open I have had a much better opponent in the finals and I was not at my level. In New York there was this unfortunate incident, but I have won both Cincinnati and Rome. If we don’t count the default, I have lost only one match this year, so I am free to say that I am maybe playing the tennis of my life. The season is what it is, with the break and everything, but I have won a lot of matches, so I can compare this year with 2011 and 2015."

Novak Djokovic's other area of focus is on breaking the record for most weeks spent as World No. 1. The Serb will overtake the record currently held by Roger Federer at 310 weeks if he retains his spot till 8 March 2021.

“Goals are clear – I want to end the year as No. 1 and I want to have as big an advantage as possible for the first three months of 2021, which would allow me the historic No. 1, one of the two biggest goals in my career,” Djokovic said.
"Maybe some people have a problem with me verbalizing my ambitions, but I was raised to be sincere. I do not like pretending," he added.

Will decide about the ATP Cup after the end of the season: Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic with the 2020 Australian Open Men
Novak Djokovic with the 2020 Australian Open Men's Trophy in Melbourne

Novak Djokovic will next compete at the ATP event in Vienna followed by the ATP Finals in London. But his goal remains the same - to win every event he enters.

"I go to every tournament with the highest ambitions, I don't have to repeat what my intention is," Djokovic said.
"I have not been to Vienna since 2007. I'm looking forward to it. I don't know if there will be an audience, but I always had nice support there," he added.

Novak Djokovic also spoke about his plans for the Australian Open in January. He will definitely play the Grand Slam Down Under, but will decide about the ATP Cup after the end of the season.

“We are hoping that the quarantine period won’t be that long,” he said.
“If the situation stays like this, most of us will go to Australia early, we would have to. Australian Open is definitely on my schedule. As for the ATP Cup – I will talk with my team after this season ends and we will reach a decision.”
Published 22 Oct 2020, 19:59 IST
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