Novak Djokovic turns 37 next year, but the Serbian says his appetite for success will only grow as young challengers bring out the “beast” in him.
The world number one had an extraordinary 2023 by winning three of the four Grand Slams, taking his total to 24, two more than his great rival Rafa Nadal and four more than the retired Roger Federer.
Djokovic didn't have it all his way, however, with 20-year-old Carlos Alcaraz denying him a fifth consecutive Wimbledon title in a thrilling final and 22-year-old Jannik Sinner dashing his hopes of Davis Cup glory.
“The young people who are very hungry and very inspired to play their best tennis against me are an added motivation,” Djokovic said on CBS News’ “60 Minutes.”
“I think they kind of bring out a beast in me.”
Djokovic beat Alcaraz in three of their four meetings this year – including the French Open semi-finals, where the Spaniard suffered full-body cramps – but the Serbian said his young rival had become a real threat.
“He’s the most complete player I’ve seen in years,” Djokovic said, adding that he used his Wimbledon final loss as motivation to swing at the US hard court, where he won at Cincinnati and Flushing Meadows.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to reinvent myself and really push myself more than ever.”