Novak Djokovic makes ‘fortunate’ admission as he explains key to his longevity

Ewan West
Novak Djokovic 2023 US Open final
Novak Djokovic emotional after the 2023 US Open final

Novak Djokovic admitted he has been fortunate to remain injury-free for most of his career, but suggested focusing on the “big picture” has been crucial to his longevity.

The Serbian legend believes investing in his body and team has helped him maintain his level and allowed him to keep having opportunities to win Grand Slams.

Djokovic defeated third-ranked Daniil Medvedev in straight sets in the final of the 2023 US Open earlier this month to win a fourth title at the New York major in a record 10th final appearance. He has now secured a men’s record 24 Grand Slam crowns.

The 36-year-old claimed three of the four Grand Slam tournaments this year, while he has won four of the last six majors held.

The world No 1 has now won 12 majors in his 30s and has a 12-3 record in Grand Slam finals since turning 30. Only Ken Rosewall and Roger Federer have won a major at an older age than Djokovic managed at Flushing Meadows.

In an interview at the Ryder Cup all-star match, Djokovic discussed the rest of the 2023 season and reaffirmed that the Davis Cup Finals is his biggest focus.

“The Grand Slam season is over but we have another few months until the end of the season. I’m going to be playing in Paris-Bercy, one of the tournaments of the Masters 1000 category for us. A really important one obviously on the ATP Tour, the biggest ones,” he told Sky Sports.

“And then the last eight World Tour Finals in Italy and then to finish off with Davis Cup for Serbia, for my country. That’s the big goal for the end of the season. We’re in quarter-finals in the play-off so I’m hoping that we can get our hands on that trophy.”

The 36-year-old also reflected on his record-extending victory at the US Open and discussed his ability to remain at the top of tennis at this stage of his career.

“It was obviously very historic, very fulfilling. Just an incredible thrill to be able to win a 24th Grand Slam and it was always about Grand Slams and weeks at No 1 for me,” reflected the Serbian.

“I think I was fortunate to stay most of my career injury-free and I focused a lot on the big picture, the long term and really invested in my body and my team and just wanted to maintain the level for as many years as possible. Because I knew that if that happens, if I can have a long career, I’ll have my shots at the Grand Slam glory.

“Still at 36 going strong I don’t think that the age affects me much, knock on wood I’m hoping that I can still have a few great years at Grand Slams, particularly because those are my highest goals and objectives and priorities.”

Djokovic opted to rest and skip the Asian hard-court swing, with the China Open ATP 500 tournament in Beijing currently being contested. The world No 1 withdrew from the upcoming Shanghai Masters.

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