Novak Djokovic had Rafael Nadal personal mission heading into Australian Open 2020

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Novak Djokovic made it his personal goal to regain the world No 1 spot from Rafael Nadal heading into the Australian Open. Nadal stole the top spot in the men’s rankings away from Djokovic at the end of 2019.

The Serbian ultimately missed out on the year-end title after losing to Roger Federer in the ATP Finals.

But Djokovic began 2020 in excellent form, beginning with the ATP Cup where he led Serbia to victory over Nadal’s Spain in the final.

He maintained those performance levels in Melbourne as he blitzed his way through to the final while Nadal was knocked out in the quarter-finals by Dominic Thiem.

Djokovic still had to beat Thiem in the final to overtake Nadal in the men’s rankings and he came back from 2-1 down to claim his eighth Australian Open title.

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It also meant Djokovic returned to the top spot, achieving one of his main goals heading into 2020.

“At the beginning of the season I wanted to get back to the top spot as soon as possible, Djokovic told SportKlub.

“The circumstances turned out to be such that Nadal fell out in the quarterfinals [of the Australian Open] and everything lined-up, now everything is in my hands.”

Djokovic has a few weeks to prepare for his next tournament at the Dubai Tennis Championship at the end of the month as he bids to hold on to his world No 1 status.

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But it’s at the Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells in Miami where Djokovic knows he can make up the points.

“Neither Nadal nor I have too many points to defend to Roland Garros,” he added.

“I hope for a successful season on hardcourts, especially in Indian Wells and Miami, where I have had a lot of success in my career.

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“But I have not recorded very good results in the last few years, so I have a chance to pick up some more points.”

Djokovic is now just three Grand Slam titles behind Federer on the all-time list but he also has another record held by the 38-year-old in sight.

The 32-year-old can break Federer’s record for most weeks spent as world No 1 if he stays at the top until October 5.

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