Novak Djokovic spoke in Belgrade: confirmed his return to the ATP circuit and the battle to be the best in history

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The world No. 1, first winner of Grand Slam tournaments on a par with Rafael Nadal and recently champion of Australian Open for the tenth time in his career, Novak Djokovic, met the press at “TC Novak”, where he trains in Belgrade, and gave some clues about what his future will be.

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By announcing this press conference in advance, the tennis world expected an important announcement from the Serbian: is there any news on his qualification to play Indian Wells and Miami without being vaccinated? When will you officially compete again? How is your injury going? There were questions. And the answers have come.

Novak Djokovic poses with the Australian Open champion's trophy.  AP/Ng Han Guan.

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Novak Djokovic poses with the Australian Open champion’s trophy. AP/Ng Han Guan.

Nole spoke to him as soon as he finished his training at one of the compound’s courts. First of all, he clarified the doubts about his physique: “I’m not 100% yet, but the injury I suffered at the Australian Open has already healed and I’ve decided with my team to go to Dubai,” he pointed.

This confirms his participation in the ATP 500, which he has won five times: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2020. Other top players such as Alexander Zverev, Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev and Andy Murray. Starts next week.

Novak Djokovic, a prophet in his land.  Photo: EFE/EPA/ANDREJ CUKIC.

Novak Djokovic, a prophet in his land. Photo: EFE/EPA/ANDREJ CUKIC.

About exceptional tennis playersDjokovic said he was “flattered” after equaling Steffi Graf’s record of 377 weeks as world No. 1 this week. Next Monday he will reach 378, he will overtake the German and, firm in his position not to get vaccinated, he hopes that he will be allowed to play Indian Wells and Miami Masters 1000 and then keep adding to the top of the leaderboard.

“I don’t know if I will be able to go to the US. The process for that to happen has already started and right now it is out of my control. I’d love to play and I’m glad I got the endorsements from the principals of Indian Wells and Miami. I hope the people making the decision will give me permission. I have a great desire to be there,” she said about it, without giving any further details.

Djokovic won in Australia and let off steam in an emotional celebration with his inner circle.  Afp/Martin Tenere.

Djokovic won in Australia and let off steam in an emotional celebration with his inner circle. Afp/Martin Tenere.

In the event that he is granted a medical exemption or health regulations in the US change overnight (the former seems more likely), he will have everything to add to that tour and, with the addition that Carlos Alcaraz defend the 1000 champion points in Miami, you can walk away at the first place of the world rankings.

As for records, the first one he thinks of is that of Grand Slam titles. equaled to Rafael Nadal after winning in Australia and aiming to surpass him in Roland Garros, Favorite tournament of the Spaniards. He also spoke about this topic: “Even though Alcaraz was number one and is probably the next great in our sport, Nadal has been and will be the greatest rival of my entire career. I’d like to face him in the Roland Garros final.”

will come later Wimbledon, tournament he has won in the last four editions, and there he will try to equal the eight titles of Roger Federer on the lawn of London. Records and more records.

There is more. After winning in Melbourne, he surpassed Nadal’s 92 ATP titles, was one of 94 by ivan lendl and is already betting on the two best men’s singles winners in history: Jimmy Connor (109) and Federer (103). The 167 of chris evert and the 157 of Martina Navratilova, unattainable, they are numbers from another era of tennis.

And why not think about winning the Grand Slam, all four Majors in the same year? It seems rushed to think about it, given that only the first of the season has been played, but there is no doubt that Novak wants and believes he can achieve that impossible thing that only Rod Laver made possible (1962 and 1969).

He was one game away from achieving it in 2021 (he lost the US Open final to Daniil Medvedev) and won four GSs in a row, but in different seasons between 2015 and 2016.

Further back in time, an outstanding score for his career are the Olympic Games: won the bronze medal at Beijing 2008 and finished in fourth place in 2012 and 2021, which adds up to his loss to del Potro in the first round of the 2016 edition. He has never been able to hang on to the coveted gold medal.

Djokovic’s records and those to come

  • Most Grand Slam tournament winners: tied with Nadal at 22.
  • First Australian Open winner with 10.
  • Second best Wimbledon winner: won 7 times and fell one behind Federer’s 8.
  • Top Masters winner: tied with Federer at 6.
  • Winner of the Top Masters 1000 with 38.
  • The only tennis player to have won all nine different M1000s.
  • Singles with the most weeks as No. 1: 377 and above. He is surpassed only by doubles players Mike and Bob Bryan, with 506 and 439, respectively.
  • 4th. with more titles (93) in men’s singles: they are surpassed by Connors (109), Federer (103) and Lendl (94).
  • 2nd. with the most titles on hard courts: he is surpassed by Federer 71 to 67.
  • He is also chasing Federer for being the one with the most Grand Slam victories: the Swiss prevails in this statistic by 369 to 341.
  • 5th. with more official victories and more matches played: he is overtaken by Connors, Federer, Lendl and Nadal, in order.
  • He is the tennis player with the best official winning percentage in history: 1,043 wins and 206 for an effectiveness of 83.5%.

Source: Clarin

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