Djokovic: 'Difficult To Understand The Magnitude'
Making history never gets old for Novak Djokovic.
The Serbian star clinched a record seventh year-end No. 1 finish in the FedEx ATP Rankings on Saturday, when he defeated Hubert Hurkacz in the Rolex Paris Masters semi-finals. The 34-year-old has accomplished the feat in seven of the past 11 years, but he is not taking the success for granted.
“Every achievement is special. I try to make myself aware of the fact that I am in a very unique position. It's difficult for me to understand the magnitude of these achievements, not just for myself, but for the sport, while I'm still [an] active player,” Djokovic admitted. “Probably when I retire, I'll be able to reflect on that a little bit more and appreciate it a little bit more.
“Of course I'm very appreciative and grateful for it now, but what is the next challenge is always in your mind while you're an active player. It's constantly another task, another tournament. So [I] don't have really much time to enjoy the success, so to say, because you always have to turn the next page.”
The records are adding up for the man who has been World No. 1 for 345 weeks, longer than any other player in history. Djokovic does not hold one of his historic achievements in higher regard than the others, though.
“I think every record stands for itself. I value all the records and achievements greatly. Being historically [the] No. 1-ranked player in the world is probably the paramount achievement of our sport,” Djokovic said. “Also, finishing the season as year-end No. 1 requires full commitment throughout the entire year and consistency and playing the best tennis in the biggest events, which accumulate the most points that enable you to be highly ranked. So that's what I have done this year.”
The 36-time ATP Masters 1000 champion will now focus on Medvedev, who ended his pursuit of the Grand Slam in the US Open final. Djokovic leads their ATP Head2Head series 5-4, but the Serbian knows the Russian is a dangerous foe. They trained together just more than a week ago in France, where they played what Djokovic called "a very close practice set".
“It’s a great challenge, a great battle ahead of me. I can see today that Daniil has found his best play. He makes less mistakes. But I feel good on court as well and I hope that the start of the match will be better than in New York,” Djokovic said. “I need to play my best tennis to hoist the trophy. I know what I have to do. But then nothing is guaranteed 100 per cent. I'm ready for the battle.”