Novak Djokovic: Australian Open champion vows to return to Melbourne so long as he can carry on competing with the best | Tennis News

Novak Djokovic says he will have on coming again to perform at the Australian Open up so long as he can “complete at the highest level and be just one of the candidates to gain the Slam”.

Djokovic’s victory above Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday attained him a 10th Australian Open up title and drew him stage with Rafael Nadal at the top rated of the all-time men’s standings on 22 Grand Slam titles with all streets now heading to the French Open in the spring.

A triumphant Djokovic paraded the Norman Brookes Problem Cup all-around the gardens of Melbourne’s Federal government Residence, getting extra yet another notch in the moreover column for individuals who argue he is the Best Of All Time in the GOAT discussion.

“I believe effects converse plenty of for themselves, how I truly feel in Australia, how properly I have been playing in this article in excess of the past 15 many years,” said Djokovic.

“In truth it was accurately 15 years in the past when I gained my initial Grand Slam in this article in Melbourne.

“I will preserve coming back as extensive as I experience that I can execute at the highest stage and be just one of the candidates to earn the Slam.”

Novak Djokovic of Serbia, center, celebrates with his team including his mother, Dijana, second left, after defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023. (AP Photo/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake)
Djokovic celebrates with his workforce together with his mom, Dijana (next remaining) and his coach Goran Ivanisevic

Even with a hamstring damage that left him fearing for his chances, Djokovic dropped only one particular established at Melbourne Park and felt he played some of his greatest tennis.

At 35, he is demonstrating no signal of slowing up and is back at No 1 in the world rankings, having overtaken Carlos Alcaraz.

“I’m as fierce a competitor as anyone out there,” Djokovic stated. “Irrespective of whether it can be a Grand Slam or any category of any party in the planet, I give my greatest. I never like to lose, I do every little thing I can to get each match that I participate in and there’s continue to a large amount of that fireplace in me that is burning for the activity, and for competitiveness.

“That is what enables me to still force myself to the limit in observe periods, working day in day out following so many decades.

“To go by means of the same routines repetitively is sometimes not so fascinating, but I know you can find usually a increased aim. A guiding star, so to say, and this trophy is 1 of individuals guiding stars. It is always a little something that I attempt to reach.”

I experienced to remain robust and do not enable any outdoors components or disturbances distract me on the way to the title and of program, just after past year’s activities, coming back to Australia, I was curious and extra nervous in coming to Australia than standard. You know, how will individuals get me, what is the reception that I will get on-and-off the court. Over-all, it was a pretty optimistic working experience and I am quite grateful for that.

Novak Djokovic on returning to Australia

How a lot of Grand Slams could Djokovic conclusion up with?

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece during the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
The Serbian returned to world No 1 with his victory in Melbourne

Questioned how lengthy he thinks Djokovic can challenge for big titles, his mentor Goran Ivanisevic mentioned: “Surely two, a few a lot more yrs. The way he’s having care of his overall body, the way he approaches every thing, the food stuff, it can be awesome. It is really unbelievable, the degree.”

Previous Wimbledon champion Ivanisevic described the 22-22 draw as “like a handball match”, and he expects Djokovic and Nadal to again repel the likes of Tsitsipas, Alcaraz and the other younger pretenders in Paris.

“Chatting about the youthful guys, they are right here, it’s terrific for tennis, great for the foreseeable future of tennis,” he reported. “But you nevertheless have these two guys battling. This was Novak’s residence courtroom and now we’re going to Rafa’s household court.

“Sure, they are coming – Alcaraz, unbelievable. However, if Rafa actions on the court at the French Open, for me he is normally the favourite to gain the match.

“I claimed eight or nine years back that Novak and Rafa will go above Roger (Federer). Folks were on the lookout at me like strangely. But we have 22-22. Two unbelievable competitors, two unbelievable tennis gamers, what they did for tennis.

“I’m seeking forward, actually, for each of them to be super balanced, then the fight is there. And with the younger men who are going to attempt to obtain again doorways to sneak and attempt to do something. But still these two guys, they are likely to have the very last term to say there.”

Perfect 10 for Djokovic

Djokovic has gained 10 of the 20 Grand Slam functions (50 for every cent) that he has entered due to the fact turning 30 in 2017 – 4 Australian Opens, four Wimbledon titles, a French Open and a US Open up

The Serbian appears to be enhancing with age, getting lifted 12 of a feasible 40 main trophies (30 per cent) in his 20s

His latest victory at the Australian Open up was specially ominous, coming for the decline of just a person set in the whole event irrespective of him nursing a hamstring dilemma

What occurs next?

Serbia's Novak Djokovic, left, and Spain's Rafael Nadal pose ahead of their quarterfinal match at the French Open tennis tournament in Paris, France, Tuesday, May 31, 2022. The Australian Open tennis tournament begins Monday, Jan. 16, 2023. Nadal is the defending champion and who owns a men...s-record 22 majors. It is Djokovic, though, who will draw the most attention. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)
Djokovic (still left) and Rafael Nadal could face a straight struggle for supremacy at Roland Garros

In a greatest-scenario situation, Nadal could return for the future huge tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami in March, but may well opt for to continue to be off the match courts right until his favoured clay. With the pair locked at 22 Grand Slams apiece, it sets up the delicious prospect of a straight struggle for outright supremacy at the French Open up, beginning on May possibly 28.