US Open champion Novak Djokovic is honoured to be considered among the greats of the game and has warned his rivals he has many years left in him yet.
Djokovic ousted world No 2 Roger Federer 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-4 to win his second title at Flushing Meadows and 10th major overall, moving the Serb to within one of Bjorn Borg on the Open era’s all-time list.
Above Borg sit Rafael Nadal and Pete Sampras on 14 grand slam triumphs while Djokovic still remains seven short of Federer’s all-time best 17.
The 28-year-old, however, claimed three of the four grand slams in 2015 and has reached 16 of the last 21 major finals. The record is testament to Djokovic’s consistency which, at his current rate, means there is a strong chance the Serb could match or even surpass Federer’s total.
“We’ve got to double digits now,” said Djokovic. “And I’m so obviously flattered and honoured to be a part of an elite group of players, legends of our sports to manage to win this many grand slam trophies in their lives and careers.
“So, to be just mentioned alongside them, is truly something special.”
Djokovic is one of the greatest athletes the game has seen, taking meticulous care of his diet and physique, and it would be no surprise if his career extended well into his 30s.
“I’m 28. I have always valued the care for my body and my mind and had this holistic approach to life,” said Djokovic.
“I will continue on with the same kind of lifestyle, same kind of approach. I think that kind of approach brought me to where I am today.
“Hopefully, this kind of approach will give me longevity and that I can have many more years to come and, as I said, many more opportunities to fight for these trophies. As long as there is this fire in me, I will be coming back.”
Djokovic’s only grand slam defeat this year came in the French Open final to Stan Wawrinka, meaning he went one better than his famous 2011 season, when he also won the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open but lost in the semi-finals at Roland Garros. The Serb, in fact, believes his performances have been even better than four years ago.