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Djokovic wants Federer's crown

From Pedro Pinto, CNN
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One-on-one with Novak Djokovic
  • Novak Djokovic says reaching number two in the world is a "big achievement"
  • Serbian star is determined to go one better and dethrone Roger Federer from top spot
  • Djokovic tells CNN he is "100 per cent" determined to be the best player on the planet
  • Djokovic rates Federer as the greatest player in the history of tennis

(CNN) -- Novak Djokovic says becoming the second best tennis player on the planet is the biggest achievement of his career but he will not rest until he has dethroned Roger Federer to claim top spot.

In an exclusive interview with CNN's Open Court, the 22-year-old Serbian reflected on his gradual climb up the rankings after winning the Australian Open title in 2008 and what it is going to take to reach the pinnacle of the game.

Djokovic, who retained his Dubai Open title last month to cement his newly-won status, believes his overall consistency since claiming his only grand slam title in Australia has earned him the right to be number two.

"I deserve it and it was the spot in the rankings that I was chasing more or less for the last three years," he said.

"I feel like I can get even further you know. I will try to stay at this place for as long as I can and maybe in the future get the lifetime goal which is you know to be number one," he added.

But Djokovic, who many expected to immediately add to his grand slam tally after beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Melbourne final two years ago, is under no illusion that Federer and Rafael Nadal present formidable obstacles in every respect.

Video: Djokovic: I want top spot
Video: Djokovic: Talent and turmoil

"It's going to take something extra because Federer and Nadal are very dominant players and they have been extremely dominant in the last four or five years where they basically won 90 per cent of the grand slams," he told CNN.

"Right now I think it gets a little bit more interesting for our sport because there's a bigger group of players, including myself, that is able to win a major event.

"But still Federer is showing why he is the best player in the world at this moment and probably the best that ever played this game."

Djokovic admitted with a hint of irony that he was a "little disappointed" that the Swiss maestro had maintained his level after the distractions of getting married and then becoming the father of twin daughters last year.

I will have to try and dedicate myself 100 per cent to the sport like I did in the last couple of years
--Novak Djokovic

"You have to give him credit for all he has done because he became a father, he became a husband, and still managed to win all the grand slams in the last year and be number one so yeah he's great what can I say," he quipped.

But his focus is on adding to his grand slam title and after his quarterfinal exit in this year's Australian Open to Tsonga, where he fell sick and lost in five sets, knows only too well the physical and mental demands required.

"You have two-week long event, you play best of five, everybody has more motivation to do well in the grand slams because that's what counts.

"There are four tournaments, four grand slams in the world that are most important tournaments in sport and everybody pays attention on that.

"I will have to try and dedicate myself 100 per cent to the sport like I did in the last couple of years and really try to prioritize the grand slams and big events where you get most of the points, and really try to play my best tennis there," Djokovic believes.

One person who has no doubt that Djokovic will eventually fulfill his dream is the Serbian's first coach Jelena Genric, who spotted his incredible potential when he was a young boy learning the game.

"Everybody was laughing when I said many years ago, after just our third practice session, our third practice, I said this boy will be the best in the world," she told CNN.

Djokovic, who helped Serbia reach the quarterfinals of the World Group of the Davis Cup for the first time in the week following his Dubai success, will next target the Masters events in the United States in early spring before turning his attentions to the French Open at Roland Garros as he bids to extend his grand slam tally.