Novak Djokovic is not resting on his laurels after claiming the all-time men’s record with his 23rd Grand Slam title last month and the Serbian said on Saturday that he is already eyeing number 24 at Wimbledon where he is the defending champion.
Djokovic went past Rafa Nadal’s tally of 22 Slams when he won the French Open last month and, though his old Spanish rival will not be challenging for titles this year due to injury, Djokovic has no plans to put his feet up and relax.
The 36-year-old has won the last four Wimbledon crowns and is one shy of tying Roger Federer’s men’s record of eight titles at the All England Club. He also now sits just one Grand Slam behind Margaret Court who won a record 24.
“I don’t feel more relaxed, to be honest. I still feel hungry for success, for more Grand Slams, more achievements in tennis,” Djokovic told reporters.
“As long as there’s that drive, I know that I’m able to compete at the highest level. If that goes down, then I guess I’ll have to face probably different circumstances and have a different approach.
“So far there’s still the drive. A few days after Roland Garros, I was already thinking about preparation for grass and what needs to be done. The tennis season is such that it doesn’t really give you much time to really reflect or enjoy.”
Djokovic said that although he was proud of his historic achievement, life as a professional player demands that kind of mentality and intensity as he looks to win as many majors as he can before his body can take no more.
“If you really want to have a chance and have a go at more slam titles, you need to maintain that concentration and devotion,” he said.
“I want to try to use every Grand Slam opportunity I have at this stage where I’m feeling good in my body, feeling motivated and playing very good tennis, to try to get more.”
Djokovic comes into Wimbledon as the second seed this year with 20-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz now world number one after his first title on grass at Queen’s. However, that does not faze the Serbian.
“I think for someone his age, it’s impressive, everything he (Alcaraz) is doing. With his team, of course, he’s got Juan Carlos Ferrero, former world number one, in his corner who can guide him and mentor him,” Djokovic said.
“For me, I don’t need to have Carlos or anybody else really to find that extra drive and motivation when I enter Slams because I know that I have to win seven matches to win a title.
“So whoever I get to face across the net, it doesn’t make a difference for me. I need to do what I need to do.”
Djokovic will begin his Wimbledon title defence against Argentina’s 67th-ranked Pedro Cachin on Monday.