Novak Djokovic has already learned a lot from NFL great Tom Brady. And having seen Brady play well into his 40s, the 36-year-old Djokovic now hopes he can do the same.
Djokovic holds the men’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles but isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, as he prepares to compete for a record 11th Australian Open title next month. And while Roger Federer has retired and Rafael Nadal missed nearly all of 2023 with injuries, Djokovic is hoping he has several more years left at the top.
After all, Brady – who was on hand in Djokovic’s box to watch the Serbian star win this year’s French Open final – won his seventh Super Bowl ring at the age of 43.
“Tom Brady is a great example of a champion in his sport and someone that has had such a great career and longevity,” Djokovic said at an exhibition event in Saudi Arabia. “He has put a lot of hours and a lot of time into self-care, into recovery, into making sure that in a way every aspect of his body and mind is covered so that he can have a long-lasting, successful career.
“I know him personally as well, and I learned a lot from him, from his example, and hopefully I can have a career that goes up to 40 or maybe even beyond — let’s see.” Djokovic is coming off a season where he won three of the four Grand Slam titles but lost the Wimbledon final in five sets to his latest great rival – Carlos Alcaraz.
Djokovic lost again to Alcaraz on Wednesday in Riyadh, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, but said before that exhibition match that he has similarly high expectations for next year.
“I feel great in my own body right now and I’ve been playing some really high-quality tennis,” the top-ranked Serb said, adding that “2023 was one of the best seasons I’ve had in my life. And why stop while you’re still playing great? So I’ll keep going and take it one year (at a time), one by one, and see how far I go.”