Djokovic says Federer's Slam record 'in back of my mind'
Winning four of the past five Grand Slam titles has Novak Djokovic thinking about surpassing Roger Federer's record 17 Slam titles, but it's not a major motivation for the world number one just yet.
The 28-year-old Serbian star, who captured his 11th Grand Slam crown in January at the Australian Open, won his fourth title of the year on Sunday, beating Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-3 in the Miami Open final.
Djokovic matched Andre Agassi with a sixth career Miami crown by taking his third in a row, became the all-time ATP money leader with $98,199,548, set a record with his 28th ATP Masters crown and moved to 11th on the all-time match win list with 714.
"As I go along in my career and I achieve so much success, especially the last two years, I give myself more opportunities to actually make records," Djokovic said.
So pondering the ultimate mark, an 18th Grand Slam title, is no shocker.
"Of course it's in the back of my mind somewhere," Djokovic said. "But I don't have it as a main motivation. Because then things can go a little bit out of control, maybe can present some kind of distraction that I don't need."
In the past 23 Grand Slam events contested, Djokovic has 10 titles, seven runner-up efforts, five semi-final losses and one quarter-final defeat.
As the ATP season shifts from hardcourts to clay, Djokovic knows he can complete a career Grand Slam and add to his hefty total of major trophies with a triumph in June's French Open final.
"Hopefully it ends with a win in Paris," Djokovic said. "That's one of the big goals every year."
A trophy hoisting at Roland Garros, where he has lost in the final each of the past two years, would bring Djokovic his fourth Grand Slam crown in a row, giving him possession of all four major titles at once, a "Novak Slam."
"I don't think I'll have any difficulty to make transition to the clay courts quickly and swiftly enough," Djokovic said.
Djokovic will play at Monte Carlo and plans to play in Madrid and Rome, but more runs to finals might have him reconsider his French Open tuneup plans.
"Let's see what happens," he said. "Clay courts are physically most demanding surface, also looking at the big picture, knowing the French Open is the biggest goal I have on clay."
But another huge goal this year is to win at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
"That's one of the dreams I have and one of the biggest inspirations right now in my career is to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games," Djokovic said.
"To be alongside the top athletes from all the different sports around the world and to dine with them, talk with them, see them perform live, is a unique experience I think every athlete looks forward to every four years."
© 2016 AFP