Novak Djokovic joins Roger Federer & Rafael Nadal in elite group and jokes he can play until hes 70

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Djokovic joins Federer & Nadal in elite group & jokes he can play until he's 70
Djokovic won his 800th match (Picture: Getty)

Novak Djokovic became just the 10th man in history to rack up 800 career match wins on Friday as he booked his spot in the semi-finals at Queens.

The Serb is one of only three active players – along with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal – to achieve the feat, and joined an elite group of all-time greats on the leaderboard after defeating Adrian Mannarino 7-5 6-1.

Djokovic has a chance to become the joint-ninth most successful player, in terms of match wins, on Saturday – he could match Stefan Edbergs haul of 801 wins.

He remains some way off Nadal (903) and Federer (1156), while Jimmy Connors is still way out in front on 1256 victories.

Men with 800 career match wins

1256 – Connors
1156 – Federer
1068 – Lendl
929 – Vilas
903 – Nadal
881 – McEnroe
870 – Agassi
837 – Nastase
801 – Edberg
800 – Djokovic

He said in his post-match press conference: Its a milestone, and of course its a great achievement. Every achievement is a great achievement. I should be happy for it and proud of it.

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You know, when you work all your life for something and then you get awards for it, of course – and of course also throughout your career, youre enjoying the process, as well. Its obviously very positive and Im thrilled. Im grateful, as well, as Im able to play so many matches and to win so many matches in my career.

Its still the sport that I love with all my heart. I put in that heart every single day, and, you know, Im just very glad to be able to play semifinals here after, you know, Rome and Roland Garros tournaments that went pretty well for me.

But before that, it was a struggle with surgery and elbow and up-and-downs and trying to figure things out and get that consistency in the game.

Djokovic joins Federer & Nadal in elite group & jokes he can play until he's 70
Djokovic enjoyed a fine win (Picture: Getty)

So Im really glad that I was able to play the way that I did in the first three matches in this tournament, and hopefully I can keep it going.

While he was delighted to reach the 800-mark, Djokovic suggested hes far from done and joked he could even play on until hes 70!

50, 60, 70. I dont know, he smiled. And I dont want to put any limit or any number to it.

I will play as long as I feel like playing and as long as I have, you know, support from up there and from down here, you know. So hopefully I can have many more years, because I truly enjoy playing this sport.

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Of course its not every day delightful to hit the tennis ball. There are days where maybe you feel less like playing, but you go through them, and we all are people and we all go through various emotions.

But we learn from it, and, you know, Im just grateful because Im able to do something that I really truly love and enjoy and be successful in.

Djokovic joins Federer & Nadal in elite group & jokes he can play until he's 70
Djokovic believes he has a long career ahead of him (Picture: Getty Images)

I dont think that much ahead, especially when it comes down to tennis. And at this moment, under the circumstances, I have to be trying to stay in the present moment as much as I can and get the best out of it.

You know, there were times when I was thinking and questioning everything when I was injured and going through surgery process, but, you know, everyone has those moments. Everyone has, you know, doubtful moments. Everyone has moments when they are feeling like everything goes their way.

So thats life. You know, life comes in cycles and teaches you lessons. Whether youre going to learn them or not, it solely depends on you.

My perception is that, you know, the strength comes within and longevity comes within as much as I, you know, pay attention to the self-awareness and self-care in every aspect of that word, you know, that much of results Im going to reap.

I dont know. As I said, I dont like to put any numbers on how long and when its going to end. I would rather see things, hey, Im playing, Im playing great, back again, Im 31 on the paper, but Im 19 in the real sense. I just love to keep on going and see where it takes me.


More: Tennis

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