Novak Djokovic Reveals How Pete Sampras Influenced Him to Break Records

Published 11/10/2021, 3:30 PM EST
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 16: L-R Novak Djokovic and Pete Sampras chat after their exhibition doubles match on day thirteen of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 16, 2019 in Indian Wells, California. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


After his exploits this year on the ATP tour, it’s safe to say that Novak Djokovic has achieved the pinnacle of the sport and will only continue forward to achieve greatness in men’s singles tennis. As he defeated Daniil Medvedev to clinch his 37th Masters 1000 title at Paris, the Serbian star mentioned a former American legend as his inspiration to break records.

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Novak Djokovic talks about breaking Pete Sampras record

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Talking to Eurosport in an interview post the victory at Bercy, Djokovic reminisced his childhood where he grew up idolizing Pete Sampras. Recently, the Serb secured the year-end world no.1 for a seventh time, surpassing Pistol Pete.

Breaking the  record of Pete Sampras, who was my childhood hero growing up. He was the one that I looked up to the most. He was the one that got me going with tennis and you know, motivated me to grab the record”, explained the Serb.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Paris Masters – Accor Arena, Paris, France – November 7, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

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The world no.1 also explained his mindset at the moment where he keeps breaking records and scripting history at every other tournament.

At times, it seems surreal to really be where I am, you know. I’m and blessed and grateful to be in this position. It’s difficult to comprehend the magnitude of all the achievements while you are still an active players because you always have to look for the next challenge“.

At one point in tennis history, no one thought Pete Sampras‘ record could be broken. Then came Roger Federer, whose legacy looked invincible for a while before Rafael Nadal began giving him tough competition.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Paris Masters – Accor Arena, Paris, France – November 7, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

2021 ATP season saw youngsters defeating Djokovic and Nadal at slams

Now, it’s Djokovic who clearly stands ahead of both Nadal and Federer in terms of grasping path-breaking victories at important tournament across the ATP tour. The Serb also enjoys a positive head-to-head record against both of his fierce competitors.

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Another positive aspect to have happened this year on the ATP tour was the rise in level of youngsters such as Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Matteo Berrettini. These players were expected to defeat the Big-3 at slams for a while and it happened this year.

Sep 12, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; (L-R) Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Daniil Medvedev of Russia celebrate with the finalist and championship trophies, respectively, after their match in the men’s singles final on day fourteen of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

During this season, fans witnessed Tsitsipas surpassing Nadal at the Australian Open and Medvedev defeating Djokovic in New York. While there are still questions over their consistency in terms of victories against the Big-3, the 2022 ATP season might give a clear picture regarding the same.

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DIVE DEEPER

WATCH: Fans Overjoyed as Novak Djokovic Joins Them in ‘Merci Bercy’ Celebration at Paris Masters 2021

22 days ago

 

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Sagar Ashtakoula

578 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Sagar has completed his graduation in Electronics and Communication Engineering.

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