Djokovic has no plans to retire even after 25th major

Oliver Caffrey and Darren Walton |

Novak Djokovic has no plans to retire, despite being on the verge of his 25th grand slam title.
Novak Djokovic has no plans to retire, despite being on the verge of his 25th grand slam title.

Family may be slowing him down, but Novak Djokovic has no intention of calling it quits anytime soon even as he closes in on Margaret Court’s all-time grand slam haul.

Already the men’s record holder in majors, Djokovic will break Court’s magic mark of 24 that has stood since 1973 if he wins an 11th Australian Open on Sunday.

After a scratchy start to his title defence at Melbourne Park, the world No.1 blew Frenchman Adrian Mannarino away in straight sets on Sunday to advance to a quarter-final on Tuesday with American Taylor Fritz.

Djokovic insists winning an unprecedented 25th slam would not be enough.

“I really love competing. I’m very passionate about it,” the top seed said ahead of his record-equalling 58th grand slam quarter-final.

“I bring in a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm in the practice weeks trying to build my form to be ready to compete with the best tennis players in the world.

“Being separated from the family hurts me more and more. That’s the part that I struggle with more now.

“So, yeah, I try to balance things out with working with my schedule in such way and calendar that is suitable to me.

“I think I earned my right to choose what kind of tournaments I want to play. Of course, grand slams being the biggest ones, the pillars, are the priority on the schedule list.

“So while being No.1 and still on top of the game, I don’t feel like leaving tennis in that position. I feel like I want to keep on going.”

Novak Djokovic.
Novak Djokovic dropped just three games in his fourth-round thrashing of Adrian Mannarino. (Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS)

Only last month, 36-year-old father of two spoke about how American football legend Tom Brady is inspiring him by continuing to perform at a high level late in his career.

Quarterback Brady played 23 seasons in the NFL, winning seven Super Bowls with the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers before finally calling it quits at the age of 45 in 2023.

“Tom Brady is a great example of a champion in his sport and someone that has had such a great career and longevity,” Djokovic said.

The 10-time Open champion will carry an 8-0 winning record into his latest clash with the 12th-seeded Fritz.

Another victory would set up a semi-final against either Italian fourth seed Jannik Sinner or Russian world No.5 Andrey Rublev.

1-NOVAK DJOKOVIC (SRB) leads 12-TAYLOR FRITZ (USA) 8-0 (2-0 at grand slams)

2023 US Open, hard, QF, Djokovic 6-1 6-1 6-4

2023 Cincinnati Masters, hard, QF, Djokovic 6-0 6-4

2022 ATP Finals, hard, SF, Djokovic 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (8-6)

2021 Paris Masters, hard, QF, Djokovic 6-4 6-3

2021 Rome Masters, clay, R32, Djokovic 6-3 7-6 (7-5)

2021 Australian Open, hard, R32, Djokovic 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 3-6 4-6 6-2

2019 Rome Masters, clay, R32, Djokovic 6-4 6-2

2019 Monte Carlo Masters, clay, R16, Djokovic 6-3 6-0

NOVAK DJOKOVIC 

Age: 36

Ranking: 1

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US180,937,203

Career titles: 98

Grand slam titles: 24 (Australian Open 2008, 2011-2013, 2015-16, 2019-21, 2023; French Open 2016, 2021, 2023; Wimbledon 2011, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022; US Open 2011, 2015, 2018, 2023)

Australian Open win-loss record: 93-8

Best Australian Open results: champion 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2023

TAYLOR FRITZ 

Age: 26

Ranking: 12

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US14,331,883

Career titles: 6

Grand slam titles: 0

Australian Open win-loss record: 14-7

Best Australian Open result: quarter-finalist 2024

AAP