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Novak Djokovic tells CNN he has visualized winning record-breaking 25th grand slam title

<i>Pablo Cuadra/Getty Images for Laureus via CNN Newsource</i><br/>
Pablo Cuadra/Getty Images for Laureus via CNN Newsource

By Ben Church and Amanda Davies, CNN

(CNN) — Novak Djokovic said he’s “looking forward” to the chance of winning a record-breaking 25th grand slam singles title at the French Open this year.

Speaking to CNN’s Amanda Davies after winning a joint-record fifth Laureus World Sportsman of the Year trophy on Monday, Djokovic said he has visualized the moment of becoming the most successful singles player – men’s or women’s – in history.

The Serbian superstar has won 24 grand slam singles titles to date – the most of any man – and currently shares the all-time record with Margaret Court. He will have the chance to break the record when the French Open starts on May 20.

“You take nothing but the win, that’s the mentality. You kind of visualise yourself achieving that already. So I’ve been, you know, really looking forward to it,” Djokovic said.

“Of course I’m not the only one that wants to grab that title but I look forward to it. I like competing with different generations. You have the young guys who are coming up … they’re all incredibly hungry and fit and fast.

“But I use my adaptability to adjust my tactics and my game to them and understand really what it takes, you know, what it takes to stay at the top and compete with these guys and try to win more titles.”

Djokovic was awarded his Laureus award by NFL great Tom Brady after a remarkable 2023 season where he won three out of the four grand slams.

The pair have grown close over the years and Brady praised his friend for not only being an “amazing player and talent” but “a great man, too.”

“[He] has great integrity,” Brady told CNN, standing alongside Djokovic.

“I think what you’ve seen over all these years, the competition always, in my view, brings out the best in people and it certainly has brought out the best in him.”

Despite turning 37 later this year, Djokovic said he has no plans of slowing down and is not close to contemplating retirement.

The focus, he said, is very much on the next tournament, rather than looking back on his achievements.

“I feel like it’s so important to always remind yourself to be in the present moment, really to appreciate, to acknowledge, to remember where you came from, the journey, the path, also the people that surround you,” Djokovic said.

“Every single week there’s something new happening and new events. So I think I will truly be able to appreciate everything that we have accomplished really, only post-career, to be honest.

“Because while you’re still active … it’s what’s the next task? What’s the next challenge?

“You have only maybe a few days or a week max where you’re contemplating on a great success.”

If Djokovic needs any tips on preparing for retirement then Brady could be the man to turn to.

The former quarterback initially retired in 2022 but came back to play one season before eventually stepping away last year.

“I was very happy with the way things ended for me and now I get to sit back and watch him [Djokovic] and I got to go to the El Clásico last night,” Brady said.

“You will always love the competition, that will never go away. You’ll always love the sport, but I think there’s also different ways you can contribute as you go through life.”

Speaking about how elite athletes manage to adapt to retirement, Brady added: “We rarely look back. We always want to look forward because we’re ambitious people.

“I think to be in this situation that we’ve been fortunate to be in, it takes a lot of ambition and it’s not like a switch you just turn off.

“So you just keep going as long as you can, and you try to make the best of every opportunity you get.”

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