Novak Djokovic is sending off positive messages after his difficult loss in Sunday’s Roland Garros final. The world No.1, who dropped to 1-7 lifetime at Roland Garros against Rafael Nadal by falling 6-0, 6-2, 7-5, says he is far from giving up on his chase for the all-time Grand Slam title record.
In the Serbian part of his press conference, he told journalist Saša Ozmo that he would have retired on Sunday if he didn’t believe he can chase down Nadal and Roger Federer.
“If I thought it was too late I would have ended my career today,” he said. “But I do not think it is too late. I will keep on going as long as I have fuel in my legs and love and desire towards the sport. One defeat even though it is a Grand Slam final, cannot destabilize me.”
Djokovic says he will be quick to put the past behind him and regroup for the rest of the season. He is still headed for his sixth career year-end No.1 ranking, which would bring him even with Pete Sampras on the all-time list.
When asked whether it was too late for him to catch up with Federer and Nadal in terms of Grand Slam titles, Novak answered that he has developed “thick skin” and that goals remain the same. #RG20 Full answer 👇 pic.twitter.com/OaJe9rvtlh
— Saša Ozmo (@ozmo_sasa) October 11, 2020
Djokovic says people have written off all three members of the Big Three before, and he is eager to prove anybody who has written him off wrong.
“I have developed a rather thick skin, I do not allow myself to be disturbed by various speculations,” Djokovic said. “Myself and Nadal, and especially Federer, we have been written off many times, people were sending us into retirement, but we keep coming back and proving that we are the best in the world despite all the pressure.”
The 33-yer-old Serb says he is gunning to top Roger Federer’s record of 310 weeks at No.1 early next year, and after that he will set his sights on winning more majors.
“My desire is still huge. I love and enjoy this game,” he said. “My professional goals stay the same—historic No.1 ranking and Grand Slam titles. If I achieve the former, which I intend to do next year, my hope will turn even more to Grand Slam tournaments in terms of approach energy and schedule.”