Published: Sun, October 21, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Pique confident of luring Nadal, Djokovic

Pique confident of luring Nadal, Djokovic

In a brief, freakish press conference, a fuming Djokovic added that he was "not thinking about tennis at the moment" and suggested he may not play in the grass-court season.

The 14-time Grand Slam victor spoke to Xinhua in an exclusive interview after the match, saying that the last three or four months have been "phenomenal", and his family has helped him to overcome adversity after the lackluster start to the season.

In a sport where Djokovic, Federer and Nadal have dominated at the top for most of the 21st century it just shows how hard it has been for the younger generation to compete against multiple Grand Slam winners. I love the way he plays football.

"So obviously that brings me a lot of joy".

'He was so advanced that, he was what, 15, he won his first match. "He looks at it as a big challenge, you know, to overcome the other players and try to win more majors", he said.

'And then, all of a sudden, I had this period of two-and-half, three years, where I didn't win a Slam. The Serbian is at 14 Grand Slams so he is still somewhat further behind Federer, however, considering his remarkable form, anything is possible. For sure I think he played really, really unbelievable tennis.

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Djokovic has already booked his place at the ATP Finals along with Nadal, Federer, Juan Martin del Potro and Alexander Zverev but the other three places are still up for grabs.

Thinking back on his experiences in Shanghai, Djokovic told Xinhua that his highlight was winning the 2008 Masters Cup as a 21-year-old player.

"Hopefully him, Rafa, Roger will still fight for Grand Slams, because it is so nice to watch them fighting for the history".

It is always sad when we see one of the sporting greats beginning to succumb to the aging process, struggling to do the things that once made them such a force in their sport. "But Novak has everything to make records in this sport", he added.

For the tournament to be a success, and convince supporters to travel, it will likely need the grandees of the men's game - Nadal, Djokovic and Federer - to participate.

The "new" Novak Djokovic warned that he was gunning for Rafael Nadal's world number one ranking after winning the Shanghai Masters with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Borna Coric on Sunday.

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