Not only to create history and become the first man to achieve a Golden Slam by winning all four major tennis tournaments and an Olympic singles gold medal in the same year.
Sure, that’s on Djokovic’s mind when he enters the Olympic tournament starting Saturday.
But it is the greatest final product that would be the result of such an achievement that weighs the most on him _ surpassing Roger Federer Y Rafael Nadal be considered the best tennis player of all time.
The goal is so big that Djokovic doesn’t even want to consider the consequences.
“I don’t want to be part of the debate. I don’t want to be compared to anyone,” the top-ranked Serbian said on Thursday. “There is still a long way to go towards a potential historic achievement.
“I know there is a lot at stake. I know there is history at stake. I am privileged and motivated to be in this position. I have worked very hard to be here … But let’s talk about history.” if all goes well here, “added Djokovic.” Right now, all the focus is on the next challenge. ”
In Serbia, the debate is over.
Olympic committee mission chief Natasa Jankovic introduced Djokovic at the team’s press conference as “the most successful tennis player in history.”
By winning Wimbledon this month, Djokovic tied Federer and Nadal for their 20th Grand Slam title, having opened the year by capturing the Australian and French Opens. He is the only one of them who has won every Slam twice. It is the only one to have all four main titles simultaneously, something it did in late 2015 and early 2016.
The only tennis player to achieve a Golden Slam was Steffi Graf in 1988.
“I’m not in contact with Steffi, but if they can connect her I’d be happy to ask her how she did it,” Djokovic said, recalling how she briefly worked with Graf’s husband Andre Agassi.
“When I was thinking of her (Golden Slam), I didn’t think it was possible. But right now it seems more and more realistic to me. Of course, that’s one of the goals and dreams.”
To simplify things for Djokovic is that neither Federer nor Nadal are playing in Tokyo.
But that was also the case at last year’s US Open, where Djokovic was disqualified for inadvertently hitting a linesman in the throat with a ball.
“I have not experienced too many great tournaments in the last 15 years without Roger and Rafa playing,” said Djokovic. “So it’s a bit strange, to be honest, because I’m used to seeing at least one of them.”
Djokovic will start against No. 139 Hugo Dellien of Bolivia on the hard courts of Ariake Tennis Park.
Half of the top 10 male players are not in Tokyo, and Dominic Thiem, Matteo Berrettini and Denis Shapovalov are also missing for various reasons.
“But still, some of the best players in the world are here,” Djokovic said. “(Daniil) Medvedev, (Stefanos) Tsitsipas, (Alexander) Zverev, (Andrey) Rublev. Those are the guys who are in the top 6-7 in the world and they are the biggest candidates to win a medal.”
Djokovic had openly considered not participating in the Olympics, as he won a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Games.
In the end, his desire to represent Serbia and achieve something unique was too great.
“It is the most special and historic sporting event in the history of sport,” Djokovic said of the Olympics. “Representing your country, being part of a collective team is something that I treasure. It is something that encourages me personally and gives me a lot of confidence and a lot of energy for my own personal performance.”