Novak Djokovic wrapped up his 2023 season by adding the ATP Finals trophy to the three major titles he won this year and the Serb immediately set the bar even higher for next season by targeting a ‘Golden Slam’.
Djokovic, who won his seventh ATP Finals on Sunday with a straight set win over Jannik Sinner, missed out on Grand Slam this year after losing to Carlos Alcaraz in the Wimbledon final.
The 36-year-old told reporters in Turin he wanted a clean sweep of the majors next year as well as the singles gold medal at the Paris Olympics.
Steffi Graf is the only player to have achieved the ‘Golden Slam’, winning the Australian, French and US Opens, Wimbledon and a gold medal at the Seoul Olympics in 1988.
“Well, you can win four Slams and an Olympic gold,” Djokovic said. “I have always the highest ambitions and goals. That’s not going to be different for the next year. The drive that I have is still there. My body has been serving me well, listening to me well. I have a great team of people around me.
“Motivation, especially for the biggest tournaments in sport, is still present. It still inspires me to keep going.”
The 24-times Grand Slam winner said he was “very, very proud” of his season.
“Four out of five tournaments ... I couldn’t ask for more to be honest,” he added. “It’s a great reward for what my team and I have been through this year, being one of the most successful years in my career that I’ve ever had.”
Meanwhile Djokovic will seek to complete one of the best season’s of his incredible career by leading Serbia to the Davis Cup title for a second time in Malaga.
Serbia are one of the eight surviving nations from September’s group phase and will face Britain on Thursday.
Action begins today when reigning champions Canada take on Finland, while tomorrow the Czech Republic are up against Australia. Italy also face the Netherlands on Thursday.
Djokovic reached all four Grand Slam finals this year, winning three of them to move past Rafa Nadal to a record 24 major titles. On Sunday he beat Italy’s Jannik Sinner to win a record seventh ATP Finals title.
But Djokovic is not finished yet and the 36-year-old would like nothing more than leading Serbia to the men’s team prize for the first time since 2010 when he was instrumental in a memorable victory against France in Belgrade.
“The season is not finished yet. I really would like to win the Davis Cup with Serbia. That’s a goal. It’s an important week for us, for our nation. We’ll do our best.”
Serbia’s task has been made a little easier with injuries ruling out Dan Evans and Andy Murray from Britain’s line-up, although they still have world number 18 Cameron Norrie and youngster Jack Draper in the squad as well as a strong doubles line-up including world number three Neal Skupski.
Canada beat Australia in last year’s final and Felix Auger-Aliassime wants to prove that feat was no fluke.
“Whenever we come together as a team we always have belief that we can win,” Auger-Aliassime told the ITF’s website.
“We are focussed but also more relaxed knowing we won the trophy last year.”
Canada are without the injured Denis Shapovalov and will have former Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic in their ranks against a Finnish squad which has already achieved the country’s best result in the competition.
Oddly, a large Finnish population live close to Malaga so they will not be lacking support, according to their number one player Emil Ruusuvuori. “I heard there’s 6,000 coming,” he said.
Traditional Davis Cup powerhouse Australia have not won the Davis Cup for 20 years but under captain Lleyton Hewitt they believe they can go one step further than last year.
“All the guys in our team lift when they play for their country,” Hewitt said.
“They play with a lot of passion and pride.”
Alex De Minaur is Australia’s top singles player and arrives in Spain confident after am impressive year which he ended just outside the world’s top 10. “I’m kind of a local here now,” De Minaur, who trains in Alicante and Marbella said.
“It’s basically a home tournament for me.”
The Davis Cup will also be a chance for Sinner to shake off any lingering disappointment at losing to Djokovic in the ATP Finals on Sunday. World number four Sinner leads a strong-looking Italy side who will be favourites to beat the Dutch.