Olympic and grand slam glory driving evergreen Djokovic

Djokovic leads Perth crowd in New Year countdown

Source: Twitter/United Cup

World No.1 Novak Djokovic is as hungry as ever to keep the records tumbling, and he thinks his New Year’s celebrations are a good omen for what’s to come in 2024.

Djokovic defied Father Time to continue his dominant run in 2023, winning three of the four slams to take his career tally to a record 24.

At 36 years of age, Djokovic remains at the peak of his powers and he’ll be aiming to capture all four slams and an Olympic gold medal this year.

That quest includes his bid to capture an unprecedented 11th Australian Open crown at Melbourne Park later this month.

Djokovic said his winning mindset and setting goals others may deem unrealistic are things that help drive him to never-seen-before heights.

“That’s kind of a mindset that I nurtured over the years,” Djokovic said.

“It might seem unrealistic or impossible to some. It might seem arrogant to some others. I don’t know.

“I’ve always believed in myself very strongly. I know that I’m a very all-round player. When I’m fit, when I’m at the peak of my performance, I can win any slam or any tournament.

“I know that. I’m not afraid to say that. It’s not a secret that I want to break more records and make more history in the game.

“That’s something that keeps on motivating me.”

Djokovic has appeared at four Olympic Games, with his best result a bronze medal in 2008.

The lure of Olympic glory at this year’s Paris Games is something that Djokovic craves.

“Hopefully I can win another medal for Serbia in the Olympics. I would love to do that,” he said.

“That’s one of the highest goals for this year.

“I have been in this situation so many times in my career.

“I know exactly what I need to do to maintain my body and mind and spirit in the right, optimal state for me to have the opportunity to break records and to go further.”

Djokovic ended 2023 with a bang, defeating Zhizhen Zhang 6-3 6-2 to pilot Serbia’s 2-1 United Cup victory over China.

Given the mixed doubles match that Djokovic was involved in finished just minutes before midnight in Perth, the 24 grand slam-winner urged the crowd to stay and join him in the countdown for the New Year.

Djokovic even convinced the on-court DJ to play music, with the Serbian great dancing along with his teammates after midnight struck.

“It was a wonderful way to celebrate New Year’s,” he said.

“We have a saying in Serbia: If the entire year is going to be [like] the sunrise or the first minute of the new year, then I think we’re going to have a great season and a great year, all of us.”

Djokovic will be back in action on Tuesday in Serbia’s clash with the Czech Republic, where he’ll take on world No.31 Jiri Lehecka.

If Serbia win the tie, they’re guaranteed to reach the quarter-finals.


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