Novak Djokovic is taking inspiration from two American sporting legends in his bid to keep dominating tennis despite being in the twilight of his career.
The 36-year-old beat Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final on Sunday to pick up his third Grand Slam of 2023 after triumphing at the Australian and French Open.
In doing so, Djokovic, who dropped just two sets all tournament at Flushing Meadows, equalled Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles.
The Serbian star has already racked up eight major titles this decade, with his dominance in tennis showing no signs of slowing down.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, he was asked how he constantly adapts at his age to remain top of the pile.
It led Djokovic to use NBA icon LeBron James and NFL great Tom Brady as examples of sportsmen who have enjoyed lengthy careers.
He said: “There are always changes happening, literally on a weekly to monthly basis in my approach to training, to recovery, to mental training.
“There’s always something that I’m trying to add so that I can up my performance in my game at least for a few percent.
“It’s a constant process of trying to get better and trying to implement certain things that work for you and finding that formula.”
Djokovic added: “You need to reinvent yourself, because everyone else does.
“As a 36-year-old competing with 20-year-old’s I probably have to do it more than I have ever done it in order to keep my body in shape, in order to be able to recover so that I can perform on the highest level consistently.
“Maybe you can call me a perfectionist. I know I’m not the only one.
“There are a lot of great champions in different sports that thrive on this kind of approach to perfect themselves, their approach, their game, their performance, their recovery, every single day.
“On and on. That’s why LeBron James still keeps going at his age, or Tom Brady, you know, greats like that, that are inspiring.
“That’s basically it. It’s a constant, evolving process of me trying to implement certain things that will give me an edge over the young guns.”
And his coach – 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic – has revealed that Djokovic has no plans to retire soon, and is keen to play at the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028.
He remarked: “I don’t think so [retire after 25th Grand Slam]. No, no, he’s planning to play Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
“When is this, 2028? You know what’s going in his head. It’s like 24 hours something to achieve. So I don’t think so.”