London: Former world number one Novak Djokovic, who equalled American legend Pete Sampras’ Grand Slam tally of fourteen after clinching the US Open title on Sunday, said that the achievement is like a dream come true for him.
The 31-year-old admitted that Sampras was his childhood idol and inspired him to play tennis.
“Pete Sampras is one of the biggest legends ever to play the game. He was my childhood idol. He was someone I was looking up to. The first actual thing I saw related to tennis on TV was his first or second Wimbledon championship. That inspired me to start playing tennis,” ATP quoted Djokovic, as saying.
“There is a lot of significance of me being now shoulder to shoulder in terms of Grand Slam wins with him. It’s truly incredible when you think about it. I watched him win one of his first Wimbledon championships, and I grew up playing and thinking that one day I’ll be able to do what he does. To actually be here, it’s a dream come true,” he added.
Reflecting on the environment during the final, the Serbian player stated that the audience made the clash more electrifying as the audience was completely engrossed in the match.
“I thought it was electrifying in some stages of the match, especially in the second set when we went toe-to-toe. I had my corner, as well. I had my fans. The full stadium got involved, got engaged, especially in those stages of the match. When the roof is closed, trust me, it’s very loud. Very, very loud down there. It takes a lot of effort to actually stay poised at this moment. I’m glad I managed to do that,” he added.
Djokovic clinched his 14th Grand Slam title after registering a convincing 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-3 win over world number six Juan Martin del Potro in the summit showdown of the US Open.