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US Open: “I don’t set numerical goals for myself,” announces Novak Djokovic

How did you approach this final?Novak Djokovic: I hadn't played a tournament on American soil for two years.

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US Open: “I don’t set numerical goals for myself,” announces Novak Djokovic

How did you approach this final?Novak Djokovic: I hadn't played a tournament on American soil for two years. And the last time I played here, I lost to the same player I beat today. I really did everything in the last 48 hours to let the importance of this moment and its issues sink into my head. Two years ago, that's what happened, I played badly and I lost. I learned the lesson. My team and my family knew that, in the last 24 hours, they should not talk to me about history or issues (smile). I did everything to approach this match like any other match to win. But obviously, lots of thoughts come to you. What ifs..., images of a possible victory, of a possible defeat. I tried to block everything. But it's been a big struggle over the last 24 hours.

What did you feel right after winning the match point? Relief above all. That's why I didn't burst out with joy. I was relieved to see his last forehand stop in the net. Out of respect, I wanted to go to the net as quickly as possible to shake his hand and exchange a few words. And then what I wanted was to kiss my daughter who was sitting in the stand, in front, right in front of my bench. She smiled at me, every time I needed it she sent me that innocent energy of childhood. In the most stressful moments, especially in the second set, she would smile at me, show me her clenched fist. My daughter is six, my son nine and they were both there. When I became a father, one of my wishes was that my children could see me win a Grand Slam tournament and that they would be old enough to realize. I am super blessed that it happened, here and already in Paris.

Is this season like the ones when you were battling against Federer and Nadal? Four finals and four different opponents this year in the Grand Slam final. For most of the years when we were all on the tour at the highest level, the odds were very high that I would face Roger or Rafa or Andy in the finals of Grand Slam tournaments. Now it's different. I don't mind playing against different players, as long as I win (smiles). But I played three epic games against Alcaraz this year and from there came the talk of a new rivalry. Players come and go, and so will I. One day, in 23 or 24 years, I will leave the circuit (laughs) and there will be new players. But until then, I think you'll keep seeing me.

Did you set these 24 Grand Slam titles, or 25, as a goal? As a child, my goal was to win Wimbledon and become number 1. When that happened, I had to set it. others, because among athletes, objectives are very important to motivate themselves, to set clear areas of preparation on a daily basis, over a week, in order to actually reach where we wanted to go. So as my career progressed, I set myself higher and higher goals. But to be honest, I never thought too much about the number of weeks spent as No.1 or the record number of Grand Slam titles until maybe three years ago. It was then that I realized that I was not that far from the record for weeks in No.1 and that I had a chance of reaching the record for Grand Slam titles if I stayed healthy and if I continued to play well. I started to believe that I would succeed. For the future, I am not setting a numerical objective for the number of Grand Slams that I want to win before the end of my career. They will remain my priority tournaments and that will not change next season, nor the seasons that follow as long as I am strong.

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