At Australian Open 2008, Novak Djokovic crushed the two-time defending champion Roger Federer in straight sets in the semifinals. That match certainly invoked the advent of a new legend into the sport of tennis. After one more match victory, the Serb became the first player ‘not named Federer or Nadal’ to clinch a Slam since Australian Open 2005.
Coming into the year 2020, Novak Djokovic has added 15 more Slams in his hoard of titles since his 2008 victory in Melbourne. Not just titles, the elastic player on the men’s tour has reshaped the sport and given it another dimension. The Serbian legend credits a certain part of his success to his arch-rivals, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Roger and Rafa inspire him every now and then and propel him to play the best form of tennis. Their rivalry has made him a complete player in the history of the sport. “My rivalry with Roger and Rafa is one of the motivations for me to still keep going at this age,” Novak Djokovic said.
“The three of us have inspired each other” – Novak Djokovic
The act of sharing the inspiration is mutual amongst the three. All their achievements and records motivated each other to do well in their careers. In a nutshell, the ‘Big Three’ have subtly supported each other to excel on the ATP Tour.
“The three of us have inspired each other throughout our rivalries and careers to be better, to understand how we can overcome obstacles in the matchups. I am more grateful today to be in the same era with these two guys than I was probably 10, 15 years ago (smiling),” Novak continued.
“I think that definitely, rivalries with them made me very, very strong, very resilient, and also very motivated that I am still today,” Djokovic added.
World Number two Djokovic came to Melbourne after winning eight matches (singles and doubles) at ATP Cup 2020. He did not drop a match in the tournament. For Novak, the time spent in the other Australian cities was a phenomenal lead up to the Happy Slam.
On Monday, the defending champion at Australian Open 2020 Novak Djokovic will be looking forward to recording his 900th match win on the ATP Tour. He will open against the German Jan-Lennard Struff on the Rod Laver Arena.