Novak Djokovic recently responded to a statement by Rafael Nadal about the importance that they both respectively attach to records. Speaking at the pre-tournament press conference ahead of the Serbia Open, Djokovic claimed that Nadal was free to interpret the matter whichever way he wanted, before asserting that he himself wasn't 'obsessed' with anything in his life.
"What he wants, the way he thinks and how he sees all this, that is his business," Djokovic said. "I can't speak on his behalf, he has every right to express how he sees me when it comes to records. I don't think that I am obsessed with anything in life but I feel that I have passion, great desire and big goals."
Rafael Nadal had suggested earlier this week that he wasn't as focused on winning Slams as Novak Djokovic was, and that he was still on the tour mainly because of his love for tennis. The Spaniard has historically had a very unassuming approach to titles and numbers, which is in sharp contrast to the way Djokovic publicly targets all the big records in the game.
Many believe Novak Djokovic's aggressive approach towards records is what sets him apart from the others and helps him achieve remarkable milestones. The Serb implied something similar during his media interaction on Monday, claiming that he had no problem in vehemently announcing his goals to the world.
Djokovic reiterated how he has always been vocal about his ambitions, and that he doesn't see any 'problem' with that.
"I'm going towards it and I have no problem verbalizing it," Djokovic said. "I have never had a problem saying that my goal is to break a record. I have been verbalizing my goals since I was a young tennis player, and even then I did not hesitate to announce them - I wanted to become No. 1 and win Grand Slams. These goals, of course, keep growing; when one is achieved, another one emerges. I continue paving my unique path."
Rafael Nadal is my biggest rival, I have only words of praise for him: Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic was also effusive in his praise of Rafael Nadal during the presser, and he even named Nadal as his 'biggest rival in life'. Djokovic mentioned the Spaniard's dedication to the sport, his achievements and his training ethic as some of his most admirable qualities.
"He is my biggest rival in life," Djokovic said. "His dedication to sports, everything he has achieved, the way he treats training are admirable and, in that context, I have only words of praise for him."