Beautiful Djokovic salute to 'legends of our sport'

4 months ago 21
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World No.1 Novak Djokovic has clinched his 20th Grand Slam rubric to lucifer the records of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal — and helium marked the juncture with a beauteous tribute to his rivals.

The Serbian conquered Italian satellite No.9 Matteo Berrettini successful the Wimbledon last successful 4 sets, withstanding respective tenacious fightbacks to triumph 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.

The 34-year-old had a gag up his sleeve erstwhile asked what it meant to assertion a record-matching large triumph, earlier going connected to admit Federer and Nadal and convey them for their interaction connected his bonzer career.

"It means nary of america 3 volition stop; I deliberation that's what it means," a laughing Djokovic said successful his on-court interrogation connected Nine's coverage.

"I person to wage large tribute to Rafa and Roger. They are legends of our athletics and they are the 2 astir important players I person faced successful my career."

Novak Djokovic soaking up the delightful sensation of a Wimbledon triumph. (Getty)

The six-time Wimbledon victor said the 2 men were "the crushed that I americium wherever I americium today".

"They've helped maine realise what I request to bash to amended to get stronger mentally, physically, tactically," Djokovic said.

"When I broke into the apical 10 for the archetypal clip I mislaid for three, 4 years astir of the large matches I played against these guys.

"Something shifted, extremity of 2010, commencement of 2011, and the past 10 years person been an unthinkable travel that's not stopping here."

Federer and Nadal dominated the 2000s arsenic a younger Djokovic tried to settee connected the satellite stage.

Federer collected his archetypal Grand Slam rubric erstwhile helium defeated Australian Mark Philippoussis astatine Wimbledon successful 2003, portion Nadal secured his archetypal large erstwhile helium bushed Argentine Mariano Puerta astatine Roland-Garros successful 2005.

But Djokovic didn't triumph the archetypal of his 20 large titles until 2008, erstwhile helium toppled Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga astatine the Australian Open.

By the clip Djokovic had got his hands connected Grand Slam silverware for the archetypal time, Federer had already won 12 majors and Nadal three.

Roger Federer greets an Australian Open crowd. (Getty)

In a breathtaking decennary of dominance, however, Djokovic has had a important borderline implicit his rivals since 2011, a play of clip that's seen Djokovic triumph 19 of the 42 majors played, Nadal 11 and Federer four.

After his decision of Berrettini astatine the All England Club, Djokovic's astounding pursuit of a Golden Slam remains alive. Having already won the Australian Open, Roland-Garros and Wimbledon this year, golden astatine the Tokyo Olympics and US Open triumph are present his lone remaining missions.

German pistillate Steffi Graff is the lone singles subordinate to person ever completed a Golden Slam, having achieved the feat successful 1988.

Djokovic is astir surely bound to discontinue with the astir Grand Slam titles beside his name, but the tennis satellite volition beryllium watching connected fanatically for arsenic agelong arsenic 'the large three' are stilling jostling for supremacy.

An elated Rafael Nadal pursuing a Roland-Garros victory. (Getty)

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