Former world number one, Novak Djokovic, has warned Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal that he is not interested in being world number 2 or runners up at grand slams when he returns to playing competitive tennis in January 2018.
The Serbian has slipped to 12th in the ATP rankings and has been absent from the sport since retiring from a Wimbledon quarter-final clash against Tomas Berdych due to an elbow injury.
Moreso, lack of form and fitness halted his progress since winning all the four Grand Slams in 2016. However, Nadal and Federer dominated 2017, winning two grand slams each and ending the year as world's number one and two.
Djokovic, ahead of his return to action at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, said his goals for 2018 is to return to being number one again. He said: "I would lie to you and I would not be honest, not to you, to myself, if I tell you anything less than being No. 1 and winning Slams.
I know that I’ve done it in the past, I’ve proven to myself that I can do it and why not aim for it again? Because I feel that, first of all, I have the willpower – which is the most important thing. You need to really want something, you need to wish for it, you need really strongly believe and commit to that. So I am".
The star, who took a six-month break from the sport this year, also said he believes his approach is not different to that of his two great rivals, who have both enjoyed remarkable seasons despite injury lay-offs in 2016.
"My general goals in tennis and life is to really enjoy what I do and that’s what drives me still.
That’s what drives Roger by the way. I mean you saw what he has done in the last year after coming back from a six-month, similar to me, absence from the tour and coming back and almost becoming No. 1 and Rafa is world No. 1. That’s proof that you can do it.
"It doesn’t matter the age or not, if you take care of your body, your body’s kind of reversing that age clock and your mind as well, if you have that kind of spirit of a child enjoying what it does then you get energy. You get energy from above, I believe in it, I strongly do," he added.