NOVAK DJOKOVIC is targeting Olympic gold in London and his place among the sporting immortals.
The 25-year-old wept after winning a bronze medal for Serbia with victory over James Blake in Beijing four years ago, and he is hoping to climb to the top step of the podium when the medals are decided at Wimbledon next weekend.
Djokovic (right) has always relished competing for his country, with his astonishing success in 2011 coming on the back of the high of winning Serbia's first Davis Cup title.
He has been lapping up the Olympic spirit since arriving in London a week ago, and he harked back to the Games' classical traditions when contemplating what the competition means. Djokovic, who will carry the Serbia flag at tonight's opening ceremony, said: "The majority of athletes cannot remove the smile from their faces. It's just an excitement that is like no other.
"This is the most recognised event in the history of sport. In the past, when you won an Olympic gold, you were considered immortal and you got eternal glory, and I don't think it has changed."
Djokovic's opening game, a first-round clash with Italy's Fabio Fognini, takes place on Sunday.