Former world No. 4 Greg Rusedski has suggested Novak Djokovic could lose a bit of motivation once record 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer or world No. 2 Rafael Nadal retire. Djokovic, ranked at No. 1 in the world, claimed a record 36th Masters title this past Monday after he beat Diego Schwartzman in the Rome final.
Djokovic has 17 Grand Slam titles and his next goal is breaking Federer's all-time Grand Slam record. "He could possibly get that far but I look at it differently," Rusedski told Amazon Prime, per the Daily Express.
"Physically he is capable of getting that far but you have two kids, he has a wife and you don't want to be on the road every single week when you're 40 years of age. "Life changes, so mentally more than physically it will be a challenge.
"Who knows, if Nadal or Federer retires he doesn't have his greatest rivals once he creates those records. "That's the problem great champions have. They have to have somebody else to motivate them. "These great three have had this for generations but once one says goodbye they will lose a little bit of motivation once they have got the records."
When asked if Djokovic could find motivation in preventing the next gen from winning Grand Slams, Rusedski replied: "It's different when the family life gets into play as well. Everybody likes to get away once in a while but not every week."
Djokovic recently acknowledged achieving success is still the main goal
"Well, of course in our sport, winning most Grand Slams and being No. 1 for as long as possible are two biggest goals, I would say, professional goals.
I think Roger and Rafa would agree with that," Djokovic said last week at the Rome Masters. "You know, we all have our own journeys and our own trajectories and careers that are very unique and very specific, but at the same time, we have this era that we have been playing in together that brings us together.
"I think this is definitely one of the best eras of tennis, and I'm grateful to be part of such era with these two guys. They are incredible champions on and off the court. "We have some young guys and we have a new Grand Slam winner in Dominic Thiem, which was kind of expected in a way, knowing his qualities and seeing him reach three finals before and now winning.
It's great for tennis, as well, to see new faces, but I think it's also quite important for tennis fans and sports fans to keep on seeing, I think, three of us trying to reach these heights, you know, trying to fight for Grand Slam titles.
"Any time we get to play against each other between three of us is always a blockbuster match regardless of the court or surface or location."