Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

‘Perfection does not exist’ explains Novak Djokovic as he identifies with top rivals

Novak Djokovic is so often compared to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, but the world number one sees more of himself in different top pros.

The 20-time Slam champion dominated the highest level of the sport in 2021, only stopped from achieving the Calendar Slam at the final hurdle by world number two Daniil Medvedev.

However, the Russian is one player that Djokovic particularly identifies with, describing as much in a recent interview.

“He is not politically correct but I am like that,” Djokovic told L’Equipe. “I can easily identify with that.

“The same [is true] for [Alexander] Zverev. He has the same approach.”

Medvedev and Zverev are two of just six players that secured victories over Djokovic in 2021. Moreover, Zverev was the only player to defeat the Serb twice, at the Tokyo Olympics and the ATP Finals.

“We can talk about a rebel’s mentality but not only that,” Djokovic continued on his shared mindset with Medvedev and Zverev.

“We want to be authentic, stick to our values. When you make a mistake, I like it when you say: ‘I made a mistake’.

“If you want to criticise me, ok, it is your choice. I am not perfect but I am going to try to learn from all this.

“I don’t like it when people present themselves as perfect, on and off the court. That does not exist.”

“That is why I appreciate [Zverev and Medvedev]. And they are incredible tennis players.

“I would have hoped to have kicked their backsides a few times this year in Tokyo or in New York but we always ended up joking about it.

“I love it. It is the rivalry of the Next Gen: Zverev, Djokovic, Medvedev!”

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