Djokovic targets Federer's tennis records

Back as world No.1, Novak Djokovic wants to wipe away Roger Federer's most cherished records after claiming an eighth Australian Open crown at Melbourne Park.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC
NOVAK DJOKOVIC Picture: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Planning on playing on for years, Novak Djokovic is on a mission to wind up with every meaningful record in the tennis history books.

Eight Australian Opens aren't enough as Djokovic hunts down all-time grand slam titles leader Roger Federer, not to mention the legendary Swiss's unrivalled 310 weeks as world No.1.

As well as taking his career on-court earnings to a staggering $210.6 million with his latest Melbourne Park triumph and enhancing his claims as arguably the sport's greatest of all time, Djokovic regained the top ranking from Rafael Nadal on Monday.

The super Serb is back as No.1 for a 276th week and, at this relentless rate, will eclipse Federer's total time at the summit this year - then possibly match or surpass his great rival with a 20th or 21st career major at the 2021 Australian Open.

"When I started winning a couple of grand slams a year, a few years in a row, that's where I felt actually I can maybe challenge Roger and Pete Sampras, all these guys that were winning most grand slams in their careers in the history of tennis," Djokovic said in the glorious aftermath to his epic five-set final defeat of Dominic Thiem.

"The No.1 (record) was not really in the equation for me until I successfully finished as the year-end No.1 for several years in a row.

"But that's one of the two biggest goals, for sure.

"There is no secret in that."

Like Federer has, Djokovic hopes to continue piling up the slams so his two-year-old daughter Tara and son Stefan, five, can understand how their father is winning tennis's grandest trophies.

"That would be a dream come true to have them remembering and kind much being conscious of what is happening, and them supporting me and seeing me win big titles," he said.

"They are the biggest jewels of my life. They are the biggest blessing that I've ever experienced."

At the peak of his physical powers, the 32-year-old said he would continue his pursuit of grand slams while trying to strike a balance in his professional and private life - even if that means cutting back his schedule.

"I am a father and a husband of course, not just the tennis player," Djokovic said.

"I am playing tennis, I'm travelling, of course I miss them, they miss me, but it's one of those things where you just have to see how it goes.

"I can't really plan ahead for two, three, four years.

"They're coming to an age where I really want to spend time with them, quality time, (be the) best possible father that I can be an not be on the road all the time.

"So I'm coming closer to the stage where I have to adjust to that.

"I have to probably play less and select certain tournaments where I want to be in my prime and not travel the whole year."

In overturning a two-sets-to-one deficit for the first time in a grand slam final to deny Thiem 6-4 4-6 2-6 6-3 6-4, Djokovic is the first man in the 52-year open era to win slams in three different decade - and just the second after Ken Rosewall in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

Even after becoming just the third man to win the same slam at least eight times, after Federer (eight Wimbledon crowns) and Nadal (12 French Open titles), Djokovic still yearns for more.


AAP