“It’s the ultimate challenge” Novak Djokovic calls Federer and Nadal the most important career influencing factors

Having started his title defence with a 4-set win at the 2022 Wimbledon, Novak Djokovic heaps praise on his close rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal

World No. 3 Novak Djokovic registered his 80th win at the All-England Club in his first-round win over Soonwoo Kwon in the 2022 Wimbledon Championships where he is looking to make his fourth successive title defence. While Kwon did give scares of an upset on the Center Court, Novak managed to close out the match in 4-sets winning the match 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4 to become first player, male or female, to win 80 matches at each Grand Slam.

Djokovic is looking for his 21st Grand Slam title that will take him ahead of longtime rival Roger Federer who became the first man to win 20 majors but hasn’t won another since then. A 21st major will also take Novak closer to another big rival Rafael Nadal who currently leads the race with 22 majors to his name owing to winning both the majors of the season so far.

Also Read: “Let’s get to 100” Novak Djokovic marks a historic feat as he edges past an inspired Soonwoo Kwon in the first round of Wimbledon 2022

“Most iconic matches I have played in Wimbledon were against Roger”: Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer
Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer

Federer, Nadal and Djokovic separated themselves from the Tour to form the Big-3 group which was earlier Big-4 with Andy Murray also present. But the Brit’s consistent injuries and break from the sport led to the trio becoming the most elite players of the generation having shared 62 Grand Slam titles since the start of the 2003 season. During this period of dominance, Djokovic did not hesitate from admitting that the two greats were a big factor in his own career.

“[I have] nothing but respect for these guys, Of course, both of them have influenced my development as a tennis player a lot, probably more than any other players. Most iconic matches I have played in Wimbledon were against Roger. The one that stands out is the 2019 Finals. Then another two finals in 2014 and 2015. Luckily for me, all of those matches I won. All of those matches went 5-sets except for I think 15. It’s just pretty much similar like with Nadal. Every time you step on the court with Roger, it’s not an ordinary match.

“There’s so much more weight to everything that is around that match, the anticipation, the rivalry. Most of the time I was facing Roger here, it was atleast semi-finals or finals. So of course, fighting for trophies adds to the expectation and gives more significance to the match-up. It’s an ultimate challenge in sport, playing Roger on grass and Rafa on clay. Those two guys have made very impressive careers on those surfaces,” said Djokovic in his post-match press conference.

Also Read: “Did the right thing in terms of morality” British No.1 Cameron Norrie backs Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian players

Also Read: “I want to really deserve that spot”- Ons Jabeur sets her sights on Iga Swiatek’s No. 1 spot after solid Wimbledon opener

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