Djokovic ‘obsessed’ with records in harsh French Open reality check
Novak Djokovic has been told that the French Open will be “hard” for him as he bids to pull ahead of Rafael Nadal in the Grand Slam race by winning a record 23rd title. Daniil Medvedev gave the world No 1 a reality check after becoming the first player this season to beat the Serb and discussed Djokovic’s “obsession” with making history.
Djokovic suffered his first defeat of 2023 last week, losing 6-4 6-4 to Medvedev in the Dubai semi-final. It came after a historic start to the season for the 35-year-old who tied Nadal’s men’s Grand Slam record of 22 titles at the Australian Open before surpassing Steffi Graf to hold the most all-time weeks at No 1 in the world.
The Serb’s conqueror has now admitted that Djokovic is “obsessed” with the stats because of his desire to make history, but thought that he may not be able to pull off another record at the French Open. “Novak is obsessed because he wanted to break all the records and he is trying to do it,” Medvedev told AS.
The 27-year-old already had a theory about Djokovic’s next target though as he claimed it would be tough for him to win his 23rd Major on the Parisian clay courts come June. “I think Roland Garros will be hard for him, difficult to achieve,” the current world No 6 said.
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“But all other records, many are already in his favor.” Medvedev – himself a former world No 1 and Grand Slam champion – confessed that it was unlikely he could ever match Djokovic’s achievements but was still bidding to return to the top of the rankings following his winning streak.
The Russian has won his last 14 matches in a row, spanning three titles in three weeks across Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai. And he is now targeting bigger titles to keep climbing up the rankings.
Medvedev added: “I know I probably don’t have enough time to do those things, nor enough skill or talent to break these tennis records. But for sure I will do everything I can to regain control of tennis. And I know that to do that, I need to win Slams and dominate the Masters 1000s.”
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And the 18-time title winner believes he can do just that at the coming tournaments, with Indian Wells kicking off on Wednesday. “I feel very good right now with my tennis and that is important,” he said following his run of lifting three trophies in three weeks.
“After reaching the top of the ranking you must play well in the Grand Slams and Masters 1000. I didn’t manage to do it at the Australian Open, so there were a lot of points lost. But there are many tournaments in the year and if I continue at the level that I am playing now I feel that I can do damage. Although later it is not easy to continue doing it, but I am going to try.”
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