Novak Djokovic takes aim at Margaret Court record after Australian Open

Andrew Reid
·3-min read
Novak Djokovic is seen here holding his Australian Open trophy.
Novak Djokovic has won nine of his 18 majors at the Australian Open. Pic: Getty

Novak Djokovic doesn't just want a piece of his biggest two male rivals, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, he's also targeting Margaret Court's record for the most grand slams in tennis.

Djokovic sits just two grand slam titles shy of men's record holders Federer and Nadal after winning his ninth Australian Open title on Sunday night to take his overall tally of majors to 18.

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Court sits at the top of the pile in world tennis with an astonishing record of 24 career grand slam titles, one more than Serena Williams.

Speaking after his latest triumph at Melbourne Park, Djokovic said his sights are on all of their records.

The world number one's bold statement followed Sunday's final, when he ended a turbulent tournament marked by a muscle injury and media attacks by humbling an in-form Daniil Medvedev in straight sets.

Djokovic's 18th major crown placed him within striking distance of the men's record of 20, jointly held by Nadal, who lost in the quarter-finals, and Federer, who was absent through injury.

But the Serb also raised the prospect of a bigger goal: reaching the 23 held by Williams, and even the 24 won by Court straddling the amateur and Open era.

"Getting closer to maybe Roger's, Rafa's record, Serena, Margaret," said Djokovic, when asked about his goals and schedule for this year.

"Everyone has their own journey and their own way of making history. They've made history already. They made a tremendous mark in our sport.

"I think about winning more slams and breaking records, of course. And most of my attention and my energy from this day forward, until I retire from tennis, is going to be directed in majors, trying to win more major trophies."

Djokovic's coach Goran Ivanisevic said the Big Three were producing "better and better tennis" and also noted that Court's record was on the horizon.

"I don't know where is the end. Maybe they're going to overtake Margaret Court and Serena, maybe not," he said.

"But it's amazing what they doing on the court. It's amazing how they perform in the big matches."

Pictured here, Aussie tennis great Margaret Court and Novak Djokovic.
Novak Djokovic has Margaret Court's all-time record of grand slam titles in his sights. Pic: Getty

Djoker's warning for next generation

And Djokovic, dubbed the "king of Melbourne" by Medvedev, had a warning for the generation coming up behind the Big Three.

"Roger, Rafa, myself are still there for a reason," he said. "We don't want to hand it to them and we don't want to allow them to win slams.

"I think that's something that is very clear. Whether you communicate that message or not, we are definitely sending that vibe out there."

The Serb's 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 win over the 25-year-old Medvedev, who was on a 20-match winning streak, was also a sobering reminder for the younger players hoping to dislodge the 'Big Three' of men's tennis.

"The three knights of tennis," Djokovic smiled.

"Roger and Rafa inspire me," he added. "I think as long as they go, I'll go. In a way it's like a race who plays tennis more and who wins more.

"It's a competition between us in all areas. But I think that's the very reason why we are who we are, because we do drive each other, we motivate each other, we push each other to the limit."

Djokovic, 33, said he would play a slimmed-down schedule focusing on the majors, rather than the rankings, now he's guaranteed to surpass Federer's record of 310 weeks as world number one on March 8.

with agencies

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