New York | The drive behind Djokovic

Novak Djokovic never, ever, forgets where he came from – and that is what motivates one of the great tennis careers.

Djokovic, at 36, is still collecting records hand over fist.

The Serb will face home favourite Ben Shelton in the semi-finals of the US Open in New York after becoming the first to reach 47 of them in Grand Slams, overtaking Roger Federer’s mark.

Djokovic said in the media: “This is the sport that has given me so much in my life.

“Coming from Serbia, a war-torn country when I was growing up, I faced a lot of adversity.

“I was lucky to encounter some very knowledgeable and passionate people. Without their support, and my parents, I wouldn’t be here without their love and incredible sacrifice.

“That is the long answer for what goes through my head when I hear those numbers (records) There’s a lot of things I am very grateful for.”

The three-time champion’s straight sets win over American Taylor Fritz was his 13th in an unbeaten run of last eight appearances at the year’s final major.

And if he goes on to defeat Shelton and secure a final victory, he will equal Margaret Court’s all-time best feat of 24 Slam singles’ triumph.

The numbers are staggering, as is the longevity of Djokovic’s career at the top. He has been cited as the Greatest Of All Time along with his Big Three contemporaries Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal. And, as it stands, unless Nadal has one last hurrah, he is the last who can still add to his legacy with more major triumphs.

Yes, he struggled with the humidity against Fritz, but anyone of any age would have done that.

You have to dig deeper than what is on the surface. That is where you discover that drive given to him by his background and the people around him.



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