Djokovic is starting his 171st week at No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. He has surpassed McEnroe for No. 5 on the all-time list in the history of the Emirates ATP Rankings (since Aug. 23, 1973).
John McEnroe said: “I made the mistake of sitting back and waiting to see what others had to offer, then adjust accordingly,” admitted McEnroe. “Instead of thinking to myself, ‘I need to add more now’ and work harder than I was working. You get that false sense of security at times that you can step up when you need to. For me personally, that was a bad move.” “One thing that I really respect about Novak is that he’s trying to add that little bit more to his game. This year, he has been a bit more aggressive off his return and has been more willing to come forward. That extra five per cent is a huge difference in a big moment against a Federer or [Rafael] Nadal, or other great players.” “I have seen a lot of great things from him, but I didn’t see this high level and this consistency. It has been one of the most magnificent years I have seen since I’ve been watching tennis. It’s remarkable how consistent he has been; he is like a human backboard right now.”
Djokovic explained to ATPWorldTour.com the reasons behind his dominance, saying, “You’ve got to have the self discipline and the dedication, devotion, but most of all passion for the sport, for what you do and keep on waking up every day knowing what your big victory is and what you are aiming for.
“Believing in yourself, in your abilities, is something that when you are younger most people are lacking. Obviously, you want everything to come right away and you want to experience success instantly, which is in most cases not possible. You have to work for it.”
Jimmy Connors added: “He is playing a different kind of game than the rest of them, which is good to see because guys might need to change their games to keep up with him. He’s set the bar now and has guys following him. It’s been Roger, then Rafa, and now Novak is there and guys are chasing him”. “It’s nice knowing you go out there and you’re everyone’s target. I used to love that. It seems to me that Novak is the same way; he thrives on it, raising his game each time because he knows his opponents well. He isn’t afraid to put it on the line time after time, as he plays a lot of matches. The more you play, the odds of winning go down along the way, especially against great competition. He deals with it pretty well.”
Roger Federer: “I think it’s incredible what Novak’s been able to achieve in the last few years, I mean throughout his career, because everybody takes a different path to get to the very top and he’s done that his way,”. “It’s never easy once at the top to find a way to stay there. You need to keep on winning and that’s what he’s been doing and not just once in a while. You have to bring that week in week out. He absolutely deserves all the records he is holding right now.”