With Roger Federer still on the sidelines and struggling with recovery from his knee injury, it seems that his two great rivals, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, want to undermine him in every entry in the record book where possible.
Now more than ever. Nadal did it by winning his 20th Grand Slam in Paris and Djokovic also strongly desires it, who between 2020 and 2021 could become the holder of two important records: one is the number of seasons closed to the number one ATP.
For now he is still at five along with Roger, Rafa and Connors, but finishing this season at the first post would equal Pete Sampras, who at the moment has even more than all the others (6). The other record that until a few years ago seemed difficult to beat is that of overall weeks spent at the top of the ranking.
In a recent presser, Novak Djokovic said he doesn't get as affected by pressure now as he did in his younger days.
Djokovic on his role in the PTPA
"Pressure is an integral part of my life and of every professional athlete.
We have to accept that we will have large amounts of pressure and the question is whether you will use it as fuel (to motivate yourself) or against yourself," Novak Djokovic said. "It doesn’t burden me as much as it did at the beginning of my career.
I can finish everything tomorrow and be satisfied with what I did, but I still enjoy the competition and it makes me happy to hold the racket in my hands. While that is the case, I will continue to play. But when I'm on a professional tour, I have to have ambitions.
It is not pressure, but only motivation," he added. The Serb believes he can help give a voice to the opinions of the lower-ranked players by working closely with the association. "I don’t think I’m burdened by the conversation around the Association," Novak Djokovic said.
"Of course I sometimes sway too, but no one is perfect. We gain new knowledge every day and we use it to be the best version of ourselves. Association is a calling, a kind of responsibility and obligation as a tennis player who is in this position," he added.
"I help those who do not have that voice, power. I'm not alone in that. Vasek is here, a lot of top tennis players are there, they join from week to week. I feel that it is a kind of legacy and obligation, through pleasure.
I have no benefit from it in a material sense. I try to keep the things I do in line with some values. I hope that we will be able to organize the return of the professional tournament," Djokovic said. "The Adria Tour is now a notorious event because it ended the way it ended, but we have shown that we can organize a top professional tournament.
I will personally work on it, but we should also work on futures, challengers, junior tournaments, that is crucial and necessary. Everyone from Serbian tennis has to travel around the world and play tournaments. We used to have tournaments like that, now it's quiet, but we need to consolidate and work on it. That is one of the priorities" - the 17-time Grand Slam champion said.