Novak Djokovic sees age as no restriction to further major success

Novak Djokovic lifts his fifth Wimbledon trophy
Novak Djokovic lifts his fifth Wimbledon trophy

Novak Djokovic sees age as no restriction as he continues to chase down Roger Federer's records.

Djokovic's remarkable five-set victory over Federer in the Wimbledon final on Sunday was potentially pivotal in the race to decide who finishes their career with the most grand slam titles.

Had Federer taken one of his two match points at 8-7 in the fifth set, he would be sitting on 21, three ahead of Rafael Nadal and six clear of Djokovic.

Instead, his mark of 20 seems eminently within reach for either Nadal or Djokovic, who came through a deciding tie-break to claim a fifth Wimbledon title and 16th slam crown.

After his unexpected slump between the summers of 2016 and 2018, Djokovic has now won four of the last five slam titles and has time on his side.

At 32 he is a year younger than Nadal and has an advantage of nearly six years on Federer, who will turn 38 next month.

"It seems like I'm getting closer, but also they're winning slams," said Djokovic. "We're kind of complementing each other. We're making each other grow and evolve and still be in this game.

"Those two guys are probably one of the biggest reasons I still compete at this level. The fact that they made history of this sport motivates me as well, inspires me to try to do what they have done, what they've achieved, and even more.

"Whether I'm going to be able to do it or not, I don't know. I'm not really looking at age as a restriction of any kind. What I said on the court, I really meant it: Roger really inspires me with his effort at his age.

"It just depends how long I'm going to play, whether I'm going to have a chance to make historic number one (most weeks ranked number one) or slams.

"It depends not only on myself, it depends on circumstances in life. I'm not just a tennis player, I'm a father and a husband. You have to balance things out."

Djokovic has made no secret of his desire to overhaul Federer, and his former coach Boris Becker said on the BBC: "Novak is not quite happy yet. He's one of the greatest of all of time but he wants to be the greatest of all time."

Becker, who worked with the Serbian for three years from 2013 to 2016, believes Djokovic deserves more support after the Centre Court crowd overwhelmingly backed Federer during the near five-hour match.

"I hope next year, if they played again, it would be more even," said the German.

"He came into the party that was the Roger and Rafa party and he became the party pooper. Now, after 16 majors, people have got to wake up to the greatness of Novak Djokovic."

Federer certainly needs no convincing of that having now lost three Wimbledon finals in the last six years to his rival.

Virtually all the statistics showed him to have been superior on Sunday and it is the sense of a glorious opportunity lost that will be the most painful.

Federer insisted he was not too bothered by the historical implications, saying: "It used to be a really, really big deal.

"I take motivation from different places. Not so much from trying to stay ahead because I broke the record and, if somebody else does, well, that's great for them. You can't protect everything anyway.

"I didn't become a tennis player for that. I really didn't. It's about trying to win Wimbledon, trying to have good runs here, playing in front of such an amazing crowd in this Centre Court against players like Novak and so forth. That's what I play for."

Federer will take some time off with his family to recover physically and emotionally before returning to action at the Masters event in Cincinnati beginning on August 11.

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read

Don't miss the latest Value Bet preview for York1

Value Bet: Wells can go Farhh

Our racing expert Ben Linfoot has three Value Bet selections for day four of the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival at York including two in the £1m Sky Bet Ebor.

Oli Bell looks ahead to the action on the Knavesmire2

Oli Bell: Saturday Best Bets

ITV Racing's Oli Bell is back with four more bets for Sky Bet Ebor Day at York and he fancies Roger Charlton's Withhold in the feature.

Sheikh Hamdan with his brilliant sprinter Battaash3

York Diary: Batt brings his A-Game

Ben Linfoot was at York to see Battaash take down Dayjur's 30-year course record in tremendous style in a turf-scorching Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes.

Simon Holt picks out his best bets for York
4

Simon Holt: A Must read

Mustajeer can improve on last year's Sky Bet Ebor fourth, according to Simon Holt who has three bets for Saturday's action at York and Goodwood.

Aston Villa take on Everton at Villa Park. Check out or preview & best bets5

McGinn the tonic for Villa

Aston Villa are expected to finally get their first Premier League point of the season from a tough match-up against Everton on Friday night.

Most Read

Don't miss the latest Value Bet preview for York1

Value Bet: Wells can go Farhh

Our racing expert Ben Linfoot has three Value Bet selections for day four of the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival at York including two in the £1m Sky Bet Ebor.

Oli Bell looks ahead to the action on the Knavesmire2

Oli Bell: Saturday Best Bets

ITV Racing's Oli Bell is back with four more bets for Sky Bet Ebor Day at York and he fancies Roger Charlton's Withhold in the feature.

Sheikh Hamdan with his brilliant sprinter Battaash3

York Diary: Batt brings his A-Game

Ben Linfoot was at York to see Battaash take down Dayjur's 30-year course record in tremendous style in a turf-scorching Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes.

Simon Holt picks out his best bets for York
4

Simon Holt: A Must read

Mustajeer can improve on last year's Sky Bet Ebor fourth, according to Simon Holt who has three bets for Saturday's action at York and Goodwood.

Aston Villa take on Everton at Villa Park. Check out or preview & best bets5

McGinn the tonic for Villa

Aston Villa are expected to finally get their first Premier League point of the season from a tough match-up against Everton on Friday night.

Racing Tips

Don't miss the latest Value Bet preview for York

Value Bet: Wells can go Farhh

Our racing expert Ben Linfoot has three Value Bet selections for day four of the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival at York including two in the £1m Sky Bet Ebor.

Simon Holt picks out his best bets for York

Simon Holt: A Must read

Mustajeer can improve on last year's Sky Bet Ebor fourth, according to Simon Holt who has three bets for Saturday's action at York and Goodwood.

Oli Bell looks ahead to the action on the Knavesmire

Oli Bell: Saturday Best Bets

ITV Racing's Oli Bell is back with four more bets for Sky Bet Ebor Day at York and he fancies Roger Charlton's Withhold in the feature.

Next Race Off

21:14 Saratoga
5
(5)
Fierce Lady
J: Javier Castellano
6
(6)
My Italian Rabbi
J: Luis Saez

Football Tips

The latest Sporting Life football Accumulator

Sporting Life Accumulator

The latest Sporting Life Accumulator involves four teams across the three divisions enhanced to 14/1 by the EFL title sponsors Sky Bet.

Sporting Life Price Boost for Saturday, August 24

Price Boost: Premier League treble

Sky Bet have enhanced the odds on a treble on Saturday's Premier League matches, exclusively for Sporting Life readers.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package

Super Sunday: City much too slick

Three games on Sunday to get stuck into and we're backing a couple of comfortable wins for Spurs and Man City and a few goals at Molineux.