LONDON: Novak Djokovic vowed there are more Grand Slam titles to come after he clinched a third Wimbledon and ninth career major on Sunday.
After seeing off Roger Federer for the second year in succession at the All England Club, the world number one moved ahead of Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Fred Perry and Ken Rosewall, who all won eight Grand Slams.
He now stands five behind the 14 captured by Rafael Nadal and Pete Sampras, although the record of 17 held by Federer may prove too distant an obstacle.
Djokovic is only 28 so has time on his side, especially as Federer is still a contender even at 33.
“I think there is no reason not to be satisfied with what I have achieved. If you would have asked me as a 14-year-old back in Serbia trying to find my way, that this is how I’m going to end up at 28, of course I would sign the deal and take it right away,” he said.
“I’m 28. I feel good. I don’t feel old. I have hopefully many more years in front of me. I’m going to try to push my own limits and see how far I can go really with titles and with myself playing on this high level.”
Eight of Djokovic’s nine Grand Slam wins have come since January 2011.
But he is also fired up by having lost eight finals at the majors, three of them at the French Open in the last four years as Roland Garros continues to frustrate him.
“There were a couple of Grand Slam finals that I think I could have won. But, again, having said that, everything happens for a reason,” said Djokovic.
“I try to learn from every experience, especially the ones that don’t end up victorious for me. I’m going to keep going.”
Victory on Sunday took Djokovic’s record in 2015 to six titles — the Australian Open, Masters events at Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo and Rome and now a third Wimbledon in four years.
His match record is remarkable 48 wins against just three defeats.
The most recent loss was to Stan Wawrinka in the French Open and Djokovic said he was relieved that Wimbledon came along so quickly to help him ease his misery.
“If I lost this final today, obviously the situation would be entirely different and the approach would be entirely different. I’m just glad I managed to make it,” he added.
“It’s actually good that we have Wimbledon just a few weeks after Roland Garros because I had pretty much two years the same situation, where I lose in four sets, against Nadal last year, against Wawrinka this year.
“I was disappointed and heartbroken. But if there is one thing that I learned in the sport is to recover fast and to leave things behind me and move on.”
Sunday’s win evened his career match-up with Federer at 20-20 but he has now won five of their last seven meetings at the Grand Slams.
He is also 19-8 to the good against Andy Murray, winning their last eight meetings.
Despite trailing Rafael Nadal 23-21, Djokovic has won six of their last seven matches.
All in all, he is looking the most likely to pick up a second US Open in the year’s final major in New York in August and September.
“Now I need some time off, vacation, relaxing. It’s important to keep that balance in life, just gather all the possible energy for hard court season,” he said.
“I try to build up on the tournaments before, then come into the US Open and trying to close out the Grand Slam season in best possible way.”