Novak Djokovic, 35, has no plans to follow in Roger Federer’s footsteps and retire from tennis.
Novak Djokovic has ruled out following in Roger Federer’s footsteps any time soon in calling quits on his career with a direct challenge to his closest rivals on the tour to make him think otherwise. Djokovic is very much still at the top of his game having won his 21st Grand Slam title at Wimbledon just under three months ago.
He was unable to compete in either the Australian Open or US Open due to his vaccination status and may well have had more Majors to his name had he been able to play. But Federer’s retirement has proven that nobody can beat father time and Djokovic is slowly approaching the same questions.
Andy Murray has already admitted that Federer’s retirement this week has made him think about his own career while Rafael Nadal conceded that “an important part of my life” is now gone. Djokovic too has been philosophical in looking back at Federer’s impact on the men’s game.
At 35 years old himself, Djokovic is just six years Federer’s junior and could soon be questioning his future in the sport. It was back in 2017 when he suffered his first serious injury that kept him out for several months and impacted his performances on tour before undergoing surgery on his elbow.
He’s dominated the men’s game ever since, winning nine of the last 18 Grand Slam titles. Future stars of the sport have begun showing their true talent this year with Carlos Alcaraz seen as the next heir to the ‘Big Four’ after his win at the US Open, while Daniil Medvedev, Casper Ruud, Jannik Sinner and Felix Auger-Aliassime are all threatening to take charge.
But while Djokovic still feels confident that he can compete and dominate the other stars on tour, he has no plans to call time on his career with the confidence he can still win many more Grand Slams.
“I still feel my body is serving me, is listening to me well. That’s the key I think when you get to 35-plus,” Djokovic said. “I think you just feel that things are different than when you were 25, for sure, with the way you respond, I mean, your body responds to some competitions maybe, or tournaments that you play in the schedule if you play a few weeks in a row.
“Obviously that’s different. So I am adjusting my scheduling much, much more, you know. I’m not playing as much as I played few years ago. I want to peak at the best tournaments, biggest tournaments in the world, which are Grand Slams and some of the biggest ATP events, playing for my country.
“That’s what gives me the most motivation and inspires me to play the best tennis. I really want to keep going. I don’t have the ending of my career on the horizon at the moment. I can’t give you a number of years. I don’t know.
“Depends how good are these guys and how much they are pushing me, Rafa, now that Roger has ended his career. But, look, right now I don’t feel also so comfortable talking about myself. You know, it’s really, everything these days is about Roger and what he has achieved.
“It’s a sad day, sad moment for tennis and sport in general to see him leave, but the way it all happened yesterday, I think it’s a perfect way to say good-bye.”