Novak Djokovic’s former coach Bogdan Obradovic is confident the Serb can surpass Rafael Nadal’s record of 22 grand slams, and revealed the Wimbledon champion’s ambitious target.
Djokovic secured his 21st grand slam crown with a 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-6(3) of Nick Kyrgios to claim his seventh Wimbledon title on Sunday, and shows no signs of slowing down.
When asked by BBC 5 Live if he thought Djokovic would beat Nadal’s record, Obradovic replied: “I was talking with Novak when he was 9 years old, this is the time we met each other for the first time. After that when he was 13 we started to work together permanently for the next 18 years, which was a very long period.
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“He was telling me every time and I know his idea, he wants to come to the number 30, which is three-zero. This is what Novak wants. So, the next five years, he will play. The next five years, he will have probably 20 chances to get those numbers, which is 30 [Grand Slam] titles. Let’s see.”
The 35-year-old has endured a tough season, and among the biggest setbacks saw him miss out on a place at the Australian Open due to his Covid-19 vaccination status.
Despite winning a seventh Wimbledon title, Djokovic is still set for a huge fall in the ATP rankings after their decision to strip ranking points from the tournament.
This was in response to the organisers’ decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players for competing at the All England Club, a decision which had been criticised by Djokovic.
He was therefore unable to defend the 2,000 ranking points amassed for winning the tournament last year, and will fall to no.7 in the ATP rankings, according to a report by Tennis365.
He could be set to plummet even further down the rankings if he is refused entry to the United States to compete in the upcoming ATP Masters event and the US Open due to his Covid-19 vaccination stance.
However, Eurosport's Mats Wilander believes the drop in rankings will not concern Djokovic too much, and insists his focus will be on becoming the best player in history.
"To Novak Djokovic, I don’t think it makes any difference whether he is the world No. 7 or world No. 1. For him, it’s all about Wimbledon titles and Grand Slam titles and being the best in history.”
Djokovic is not the only player to be affected by the ATP’s and WTA’s decision, with defeated finalist denied the 1,200 points which would have secured a seeded place at Flushing Meadows.
The US Open gets underway in New York on August 29.
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