Novak Djokovic
Credits: Twitter @DjokerNole

The 17-time grand slam champion and world number one Novak Djokovic said Thursday he is hopeful of playing in next year’s Australian Open as he bids to chase down Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer on the all-time Grand Slam winners’ list. The 33-year-old said he was “not sure” about the date of his arrival in Melbourne because of the mandatory two-week quarantine imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We hope it will change for the better, that they will shorten the quarantine period,” Djokovic said. “But if that’s the case, of course, most of us tennis players will have to go to Australia sooner.”

Novak will be missing the Paris Masters and will be playing at Vienna. He won’t be getting any points from Paris even if he plays and thus he has decided against it. Topping the world rankings since February 3, the Serbian star is almost 2,000 points ahead his main rival Nadal, who demolished Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 in the Roland Garros final earlier this month.

He needs to remain at the top of the rankings for a few more weeks in order to surpase Roger Federer’s record.

“Maybe someone has a problem with the fact that I have the biggest ambitions and that I verbalise them,” Djokovic told reporters after a practice session in his native Belgrade.  “But I was raised to be honest, clear and open, that is my character and personality. My goal is to be a historic number one, longest (on top of ATP list) and I am working towards that end.”

The 17-time Grand Slam winner, who was disqualified from the US Open after accidentally hitting a line judge with the ball, favours replacing line judges with technology. “I believe that when it comes to decisions about lines, technology could be more effective than human factor,” said Djokovic.

Australian Open 2021 will be an exciting one as all of the big 3 are expected to play. Rafa and Roger will look to win their 21st slam while Novak will bid for his 18th.