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Novak Djokovic: I believe I can beat Roger Federer’s Grand Slam and world No 1 records

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Novak Djokovic says he believes he will finish his career with the most Grand Slam titles and weeks at No 1 in the world rankings and might be prepared to play until he’s 40 to do so.

Before the tennis season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, Djokovic was seemingly on an unstoppable march to rewrite the history books.

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In February, the Serbian won his 17th Grand Slam title with victory at the Australian Open and it put him just three behind Roger Federer’s record of 20.

By the start of March, the 32-year-old was on a 21-match winning streak and on the verge of passing Pete Sampras in the all-time list for weeks at the top of the world rankings.

Had the season gone uninterrupted and Djokovic remained No 1, he would have surpassed Federer’s record of 311 weeks by October 5.

However, with no tennis being played, the ATP have opted to freeze the rankings until further notice which means Djokovic faces a lengthy wait.

Speaking in an interview for the programme ‘In Depth with Graham Bensinger’, Djokovic is asked directly how confident he is that he will have the career grand slam record.

“I’m always very confident in myself. I think confidence is derived from self-belief and self-belief is derived from clarity,” Djokovic replied.

“And clarity you have is derived from the love and joy for what you do and what you choose to do in your life.

“I think that I still have things to do here in this sport and I believe I can win most slams and break the record for longest number one.

“Those are definitely my clear goals. But at the same time they’re not the only thing that motivates me on a daily basis, it’s not sustainable.

“It doesn’t fuel me every day. What fuels me every day is something that is more related to my growth personally.”

When pressed by Bensinger on whether he will still be playing at 40-years of age, Djokovic laughed and said: “I don’t believe in limits. I think limits are only illusions of your ego or your mind.

“I definitely want to go on for a long time but I know that at the same time “I have to maintain the right principles and the routine to maintain the health and well being of my body, mind and soul.

“Everything has to work in synergy and in harmony with my family and private live.

“I am aware that the tempo and the amount of tournament is going to decrease very soon so I will not be able to play on this intensity, with this many tournaments and this much travelling for a long time.

“So I might be playing at 40 but there will probably be then just focusing on the biggest tournaments and the ones that mean the most to me.”

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We spread rumours of Rafael Nadal doping’ because he was too good, says French star

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Gilles Simon believes doping rumours were spread about Rafael Nadal as many were uncomfortable with the idea he could simply be better than Roger Federer.

There were allegations of a connection between Nadal and Eufemiano Fuentes, the doctor who was ultimately jailed for his part in a Spanish cycle doping scandal.

No evidence has ever been produced linking Fuentes to Nadal, though, who has always very successfully denied any rumours to the contrary.

However, Simon believes the rumours only existed to discredit opinions that Nadal could actually be a better tennis players than Federer rather than just a better athlete.

“It is difficult to conceive [for some] that, in terms of game, Rafael Nadal could be better than Roger Federer,” Gilles Simon wrote in his new autobiography This Sport That Makes You Crazy

“We even spread rumours of doping on his account.

“Nadal does not fit into the framework. Moreover, I emphasize here that we never talk about the physique of Federer, who has little to envy that of Nadal.

“That he went five sets at 35 like what he did in Australia in 2017, it’s extraordinary. But no one noted this point.”

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