‘I’m not going to hand it over’ – Novak Djokovic issues a resounding warning to rising stars

Kevin Palmer
Novak Djokovic in action

World No 1 Novak Djokovic has sent out a defiant message to the next generation of stars aiming to topple him from his perch at the top of the men’s game, as he insisted he is ready to fight them all the way for the biggest titles.

Daniil Medvedev is the next contender lining up to take on Djokovic in a Grand Slam final, with the Russian suggested all the pressure is on the Serbain ahead of Sunday’s final.

Yet Djokovic told Eurosport that his focus is on fending off the stars snapping at his heals, in comments that sent out a strong repost to Medvedev.

“There has been a lot of talk about the new generations coming and taking over from the three of us but realistically that isn’t happening still but we can talk about it all day,” stated Djokovic.

“With my respect to all the other guys, they still have a lot of work to do. I’m not going to stand here and hand it over to them. I am going to make them work their ar*e off for it.”

Eight-time Australian Open champion Djokovic also spoke about his challenges at this year’s Australian Open, as he overcame an injury in the third round to make it through to a ninth final in Melbourne.

“It’s been a real rollercoaster ride, without a doubt,” he added. “With an injury in the third round, the cloud of doubt that I had after I had after that match against Fritz whether I could perform or not, not training at all the days between the matches. I have had some really tough draws playing against some big hitters, players in form like Zverev and Fritz.

“I like to get tested early in the tournament, work my way into the tournament, into form and I was tested on many levels over the last week or so but all in all I am in a very good position and situation. The way I have been playing, the way I have been feeling, is very encouraging going into the finals.”

Medvedev heads into his second Grand Slam final on Sunday with plenty of tennis experts believing he can become the first player to beat Djokovic in an Australian Open final.

Yet it seems the Serb is more fired up than ever before to ensure he is toasting another victory and what would be an 18th major title.

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