High targets: Federer’s haul at back of my mind, says Djokovic

World number one looking to surpass Swiss’ 17-Grand Slam record


Afp April 04, 2016
Djokovic holds aloft the Miami Open trophy following his straight-set victory over Nishikori in the men’s final. PHOTO: AFP

MIAMI: Winning four of the past five Grand Slam titles has Novak Djokovic thinking about surpassing Roger Federer’s record 17 Slam titles, but it’s not a major motivation for the world number one just yet.

The 28-year-old Serbian star, who captured his 11th Grand Slam crown in January at the Australian Open, won his fourth title of the year on Sunday, beating Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-3 in the Miami Open final.

Djokovic matched Andre Agassi with a sixth career Miami crown by taking his third in a row, became the all-time ATP money leader with $98,199,548, set a record with his 28th ATP Masters crown and moved to 11th on the all-time match win list with 714.

Djokovic continues to rule the roost

“As I go along in my career and I achieve so much success, especially the last two years, I give myself more opportunities to actually make records,” said Djokovic.

So pondering the ultimate mark, an 18th Grand Slam title, is no shocker. “Of course it’s in the back of my mind somewhere,” he added. “But I don’t have it as a main motivation. Because then things can go a little bit out of control, maybe can present some kind of distraction that I don’t need.”

Djokovic downs Goffin to reach Miami final

In the past 23 Grand Slam events contested, Djokovic has 10 titles, seven runner-up efforts, five semi-final losses and one quarter-final defeat.

As the ATP season shifts from hard courts to clay, Djokovic knows he can complete a career Grand Slam and add to his hefty total of major trophies with a triumph in June’s French Open final.

“Hopefully it ends with a win in Paris,” said Djokovic. “That’s one of the big goals every year.”

A trophy hoisting at Roland Garros, where he has lost in the final each of the past two years, would bring Djokovic his fourth Grand Slam crown in a row, giving him possession of all four major titles at once, a “Novak Slam”.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 5th, 2016.

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