The more records the imperious Novak Djokovic breaks, the greater the aura around him grows.
The Serb notched up a record-breaking seventh ATP Finals title when he eased past local hopeful Jannik Sinner in straight sets in the final in Turin, Italy, on Sunday night. The victory moved him past the retired Roger Federer, who is watching his records eclipsed from the couch.
That's because the term 'record-breaking' has become synonymous with Djokovic these past few seasons. Without his long-time frenemies Federer and the injured but relentless Rafel Nadal to offer resistance, the task of derailing the Djokovic Train has been left to the next generation.
But the void is still too great.
Djokovic defeated three of the ATP Tour's brightest prospects in the season-ending finale last week. Carlos Alacaraz, Holger Rune and Sinner all felt the sting of defeat, perhaps lessened by the fact that it was inflicted by the greatest to ever do it.
Djokovic moved to an impressive 55-6 for 2023 and Monday marked his 400th week at the summit of the world rankings, extending his record. And more await, as he is just two pieces of silverware away from reaching 100 career titles, after which he can set his sights on Federer (103) and Jimmy Connors (109).
The air of supremacy around Djokovic has never been more apparent... and he's all too aware of it.
"When they play me, I want them to feel that it's going to require the best tennis from them in order to win against me," said the 24-time grand slam winner, as per atptour.com.
"That's what I want my opponents to feel, no doubt, because that helps mentally coming into the match.
"I think the more I win on the biggest stage, the more this kind of aura grows, and I'm glad for it, no doubt. Of course, that's not going to win you the match, but it might give you the little percentage, the little edge."
The chasing pack will have to wait because the Djoker Show must go on. Speaking to the press after his landmark win on Sunday, the 36-year-old revealed the desire to win has not abated and detailed his lofty ambitions for 2024.
"You can win four Slams and Olympic gold," he continued, referring to the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Paris.
"I have always the highest ambitions and goals. That's not going to be different for the next year, that's for sure. The drive that I have is still there. My body has been serving me well, listening to me well. I have a great team of people around me.
"Motivation, especially for the biggest tournaments in sport, is still present. It still inspires me to keep going. In the end of the day, people see you performing in the big tournaments, but they don't see all the weeks and months of dedicated day-to-day, week-to-week work, trying to build your form so that you can peak where you want to peak. For me, obviously, those are Grand Slams and the ATP Finals, and next year hopefully also the Olympic Games.
"The mindset is the same. I'll keep going. I don't know whether I'm going to have as good of a year next year, but I'm going to keep this freshness of mind and in a way motivation to do that.
"I will hang on for as long as I feel like hanging on. As long as I'm able to win against them on the big stage, I'll still keep going - because why stop if you're still winning the biggest titles? Once they start to kick my butt, then I will consider probably having a little break or maybe a permanent break from professional tennis."
With the return of Nadal and the young pretenders - slowly but surely - closing the gap on Djokovic, it will be a challenge for him to match the results of 2023.
But doubt Djokovic at your peril.