Despite a heavy loss at the French Open final at the hands of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and his team remains confident that the World No 1 can beat all the records held by Roger Federer and Nadal.
At 17 majors, Djokovic is three behind record holders Federer and Nadal, who have an astounding Grand Slam singles tally of 20 each. The Serb is also eyeing Federer’s record of most weeks at No 1: 310. Djokovic is currently at 290, and at 33 is six years younger than the Swiss.
“That is his goal and I very much believe that it will happen,” Djokovic’s long-time coach Marian Vajda said in an interview with Novosti.rs.
“He can break all records. And he’s so close to doing that. He is healthy, he is still young compared to Federer, and we all support him in that.”
In a season curtailed by Coronavirus, Djokovic had a chance to close the gap with his biggest rivals as he competed at the US Open as well as the French Open. Unfortunately for the World No 1, his only two losses in the season have come at the two Slams.
He was defaulted in the fourth round of US Open, a major that both Federer and Nadal skipped, for hitting a lineswoman in the throat with a ball, albeit accidentally.
At the French Open, Djokovic was given an absolute masterclass by Nadal, who stormed to a 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 win in the final to win his 20th major and 13th French Open title.
“It was one of Novak’s bad days and the best day for Nadal,” Vajda said about that match.
“But Novak still remains the champion and is the first in the world (rankings). Our team is proud of his great results this year and is happy to work with him because he still has the motivation to improve in all areas and to be the best player in history.”
The 55-year-old Vajda has been coaching Djokovic since 2006 and has ridden the highs and lows with the emotional Serb.
Describing his relationship with Djokovic, Vajda said, “At the beginning, when I was a very young coach, it was not easy with Novak. Both he and his family wanted to be the best in the world.”
“So, I had to be an extremely good coach in order to fulfil his and his family dreams,” the Slovak elaborated.
“I was focused from day one and I was not allowed to make mistakes. And, I don’t seem to have made a lot of them! In time, I became not only a coach, but also a good friend.”