Novak Djokovic clinched his 18th Grand Slam title on Sunday by beating Daniil Medvedev in the 2021 Australian Open final. The world number 1 became the first player ever to win the Happy Slam nine times, as well as significantly reducing the gap from eternal rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Although the outcome of the final was rather one-sided, this edition of the tournament was complicated for the Belgrade veteran. The 33-year-old Serbian had to deal with an abdominal injury that brought him close to forfeit in the third round and affected him against both Milos Raonic and Alexander Zverev.
As the days went by, Nole recovered from a physical point of view by expressing a space tennis in the last two acts. Novak is also already certain to break Federer's record by weeks at the top of the ATP rankings. In the press conference after the triumph, Djokovic took the opportunity to praise Roger and Rafa.
Djokovic on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal
"Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal inspire me. That's something that I've said before, I'll say it again. I think as long as they go, I'll go," Novak Djokovic said.
"In a way it's like a race [of] who plays tennis more, I guess, and who wins more. It's a competition between us in all areas. But I think that's the very reason why we are who we are, because we do drive each other, we motivate each other, we push each other to the limit."
With Novak Djokovic already guaranteed to break the all-time record of most weeks at No. 1 in men's tennis, the Serb reiterated that all his energies will now be focused on the Grand Slam record. "Whether I think about winning more Slams and breaking records, of course.
Of course, I do," Djokovic said. "Most of my attention and my energy from this day forward, until I retire from tennis, is going to be directed in Majors, trying to win more Major trophies." Novak Djokovic has had a complicated time ever since he arrived in Australia last month.
"Even though I have been fortunate to win many Majors and play in many Major finals in my life, I do enjoy the success every single time even more because I know that the longer the time passes, the more difficult it's going to become for me to get my hands on the major trophy," Djokovic said.
"You have, of course, new young players coming up that are as hungry as you, maybe even hungrier, and they're coming up and they're challenging me and Roger and Rafa," he added.