Djokovic: 'Roger Federer and Nadal made a tremendous mark in our sport'

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Djokovic: 'Roger Federer and Nadal made a tremendous mark in our sport'

Two more weeks and Novak Djokovic will break Roger Federer's record. What are you talking about? Of the weeks spent from number 1 in the world to the top of the ATP ranking: the Serbian, fresh winner of the Australian Open in Melbourne, has just started week number 309.

The Swiss has reached 310: on March 8 Djokovic could make history of tennis. Novak Djokovic took his ninth Australian Open and his 18th Grand Slam to within two of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. The prize money brought home, however, is much "poorer" (so to speak) than last year.

Both he and the female winner, Naomi Osaka earned 2,750,000 in Australian dollars (equal to € 1,787,150) almost € 900,000 less than last year. This is because on the proposal of the various tennis players and also of the Serbian himself, a real redistribution of the prize money has taken place among the players who have suffered most from the pandemic and the situation.

The players eliminated in the first round of qualifiers, for example, received around € 16,000 more than last year: an initiative that thus equated the prize pool system. Novak Djokovic and his 'Big 3' peers are still head and shoulders above the rest at the Slams, which the Serb claimed is largely because of their experience.

Novak Djokovic names the two achievements he’s chasing

"We have the experience of knowing what to do, how we can win matches in best-of-five on different surfaces," Novak Djokovic said. "I think that's made it more challenging for guys that are in the next generation, up-and-coming."

Now an 18-time Major winner, Novak Djokovic is just two Slams behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the men's all-time list. And among the entire sport, Djokovic is five titles behind Serena Williams and six behind all-time leader Margaret Court.

"In terms of calculating the number of Slams that Rafa might win at the French or somewhere else, myself getting closer to maybe Roger's, Rafa's record, Serena, Margaret... Look, everyone has their own journey and their own way of making history.

They've made history already. They made a tremendous mark in our sport. I'm trying to build that and develop that myself in a very unique, authentic way that is suitable to me," Djokovic said. Novak Djokovic first climbed to the top of the ATP rankings on July 4th, 2011, and has managed to stay on top ever since.

The 33-year-old has been vastly dominant in defending his throne at the top of the rankings chart, and he is well on course to overtake Roger Federer in a major stat!