‘As long as they go, I’ll go’: Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic hints he will carry on playing as long as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are around… as he closed the gap on rivals with his 18th Grand Slam title

  • Novak Djokovic won the Australian Open by beating Daniil Medvedev in the final
  • It was the world number one’s 18th Grand Slam title and his ninth in Melbourne 
  • Djokovic is now two Grand Slam titles behind Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal
  • The Serbian claims he will carry on playing while his two tennis rivals are around 

Novak Djokovic revealed he will not stop playing as long as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are around after winning his 18th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open. 

The Serbian dominated Russian opponent Daniil Medvedev in Sunday’s final in Melbourne with a straight sets 7-5 6-2 6-2 at the Rod Laver Arena. 

The world number one is now two Grand Slam titles behind Federer and Nadal in the all-time list of most Grand Slam singles titles and Djokovic billed the tennis trio as the ‘three knights’ of the sport. 

Novak Djokovic claims he will carry on playing while Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal are around

Federer (left) and Nadal (right) both lead the all-time men’s singles title leaderboard with 20

Djokovic said in his post-match press conference on Sunday: ‘Roger and Rafa inspire me, that’s something I’ve said before and I’ll say it again. 

‘I think as long as they go, I’ll go. In a way it’s like a race of who plays tennis more and who wins more I guess. 

It’s a competition between us of all areas but I think that’s the very reason why we are who we are because we do drive each other. We motivate each other, we push each other to the limit.’ 

World number one Djokovic moved two titles behind the duo by winning the Australian Open

Victory was Djokovic’s ninth Australian Open title and his third Melbourne triumph in a row. The Serbian put behind an early stomach injury behind him to steer to the title, dropping just five sets in the whole tournament. 

This year’s tournament hinted at a new generation of talent coming through, with Stefanos Tsitsipas’ rise in the tennis world growing after the Greek knocked out Nadal in the quarter-finals.

German talent Alex Zverev impressed before Djokovic eliminated him while Grigor Dimitrov and Andrey Rublev both went far.

Djokovic had kind words for Australian Open final opponent Daniil Medvedev (above)

Russian star Medvedev went the furthest out of the up-and-coming stars and Djokovic believes the 25-year-old will be seen again at this stage of Grand Slam tournaments.  

Djokovic added: ‘I have to say (Medvedev) did pleasantly surprise me with his kind words in his closing ceremony and I thank him for that. 

‘He’s a great guy, he showed why he’s very humble. He showed a lot of humility and respect and I think of him greatly on and off the court. 

‘It just wasn’t his day today but he had a tremedous run and I’m sure we will see more of him in the future.’

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