Novak Djokovic has dismissed Rafael Nadal’s claim that he is « obsessed » with the Grand Slam race, stating that he is simply motivated to reach his potential.
Nadal said in a recent interview with Metro UK, The world’s number one is « more focused » on chasing important titles than anyone else on tour, but claims he didn’t mean it « negatively ».
« He’s more focused on these things and it means a lot to him , all of these things, « said Nadal. « He always says and talks about these records and is well made for him … but it’s not my approach to my tennis career.
» I have a healthy level of ambition. Of course I’m ambitious, if not I would never be in the position I am in today, but I probably have a different ambition than he, for example.
« I just keep going, keep doing what I do and try to put myself in the position of the tour continue to enjoy and of course achieve as much as possible. «
Djokovic has made no secret of his desire to win the individual Grand Slam titles of all male players in tennis history. He has 18 major trophies – two behind Nadal and Roger Federer.
The Serb recently beat Federer’s record for most weeks at number 1 with 311, which he celebrated with a public party in Belgrade, but he still wants more cutlery.
Djokovic was on one Press conference before the tournament in front of the Se rbian Open asked for Nadal’s comments, where he disagreed with the characterization of the Spaniard.
« I cannot speak on his behalf, I don’t know how he thinks, but it is his right to express an opinion, how he sees me in relation to records, etc., « said Djokovic.
» Personally, I don’t feel like I’m obsessed with anything in life. What I feel is passion and great desire. I will achieve my goals and have never had a problem verbalizing them.
« Maybe someone can’t say something and then stick to it, but it was never difficult for me to say, » I want to break this record or one achieve a certain goal « . I don’t know why this should be a bad thing, not just in terms of records, but anything.
» Since I was a young player, I haven’t been afraid of achieving my goals. I wanted to be number 1 and win slams. Of course these goals grow – if you meet one, another appears. It’s my path and unique, just like Rafa’s. «
Djokovic said he probably respects Nadal » more than any other player in the world « and admire the 34-year-old’s commitment to dominating tennis for so long. However, he believes that his biggest rival is wrong when it comes to assessing his motivation to continue in the sport.
« I have said many times in the past that love of sport is the main reason why I keep doing it play professional tennis, « said Djokovic. « I mean folks, if I didn’t really love the competition, there would be no other reason for me to compete.
» I keep playing because I still feel the fire and the desire to win and because I have the support of my closest. I will go on as long as it is. “
Djokovic defeated Daniil Medvedev in the final to win the Australian Open in February and will pursue the # 19 Grand Slam title when the French Open starts in May.
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