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Djokovic: Sky-High Motivation to Win Record 23rd Major

By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Friday, June 9, 2023

History hovers over Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros.

Riding a 20-match major win streak into Sunday's French Open final, Djokovic says his motivation is sky high to master major history.

On the hottest day of the tournament, two-time champion Djokovic pounded out a 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 victory over a cramping Carlos Alcaraz to reach his seventh Roland Garros final today.

More: Djokovic Conquers Cramping Alcaraz for 34th Major Final

The victory vaults Djokovic into his 34th Grand Slam title match where he will play for a men's record 23rd major championship.

If Djokovic defeats fourth-seeded Casper Ruud in Sunday's final, he will break the men's Grand Slam record he shares with rival Rafael Nadal and stand alone as Grand Slam king.

"I think the quality of my tennis today was really high, and best match of the tournament, came at the right time," Djokovic told the media at Roland Garros. "I put myself again in a position to fight for another Grand Slam trophy. I've been very fortunate that most of the matches in tournaments I've played in the last few years, there is history on the line.

"I like the feeling. It's a privilege. It's incredible privilege to be able to make history of the sport that I truly love, and it has given me so much.

"The motivation is very high, as you can imagine. There is one more to go, and hopefully get my hands on the trophy."

If the reigning Wimbledon and Australian Open champion takes the title, he will make history as the oldest men's French Open champion and the first man to win each of the four major championships three times.

A victory on Sunday would also put the Serbian superstar halfway to the calendar Grand Slam and within one slam of Margaret Court's all-time major mark.

"I put myself in another really ideal position to win a Grand Slam. That's basically what still drives me when I wake up in the morning and think about the season and think about things I want to achieve," Djokovic said. "The Grand Slams are what drives me the most.

"I won the first Grand Slam this year, and now I'm in the finals of a second one, so I couldn't ask for more than that."

The 10-time Australian Open champion says while the calendar Grand Slam is not his main priority, that could change if he wins on Sunday.

"Calendar slam is really far," Djokovic said. "But maybe it won't be that far if I win on Sunday. But let's see."

Photo credit: Julian Finney/Getty