Tokyo 2020: Djokovic admits 'history on the line' in Golden Slam bid
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Novak Djokovic admits it will be strange to play at the Olympics without Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The Serbian is the overwhelming favourite to win in Tokyo and add a gold medal to his Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon success this year.
Despite his accomplishments and being level with Federer and Nadal on 20 Grand Slam titles he doesn’t wish to be compared to his rivals.
Djokovic is focused on what could be a sensational end to the season with the Olympics and US Open on the horizon.
“I don´t want to be part of the debate. I don´t want to be compared to anybody,” the top-ranked Serb said Thursday.
“It´s still a very long way to a potential historic achievement.
“I know that there is a lot of things on the line. I know there´s history on the line. I´m privileged and motivated to be in this position.
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“I´ve worked very hard to be here. … But let´s talk about history if everything goes great here.
“Right now all focus goes to the next challenge.”
The only tennis player to achieve a Golden Slam was Steffi Graf in 1988 when she won all four Grand Slams and Olympic gold.
Djokovic could be the first ever men’s star to do the same thing.
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“I´m not in touch with Steffi, but if you can connect her, I would be delighted to ask her how she did it,” Djokovic said, recalling how he briefly worked with Graf´s husband, Andre Agassi.
“When I was thinking about her (Golden Slam) I didn´t think that would be achievable. But right now it seems more and more realistic for me. Of course that´s one of the goals and dreams.”
Djokovic expects the Olympics to be tough even if it is strange without Federer and Nadal.
“I have not experienced too many big tournaments in the past 15 years without Roger and Rafa playing,” Djokovic said.
“So it´s a little bit strange, to be honest, because I´m used to seeing at least one of them.
“But still, some of the best players in the world are here.
“(Daniil) Medvedev, (Stefanos) Tsitsipas, (Alexander) Zverev, (Andrey) Rublev. Those are the guys are in the top 6-7 in the world and they are the biggest candidates for winning a medal.”
Djokovic is also looking forward to the whole Olympic experience.
“It´s the most special, most historic sports 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´s something that encourages me personally and gives me a lot of confidence and great energy for my own personal performance.”
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