Novak Djokovic has created history with the US Open 2023 win marking his 24th Grand Slam win. Becoming the only athlete to win 24 Grand Slams in Men’s Single Tennis is one of the greatest achievements in sports history. Achieving this at the age of 36 years when many tennis players are already retired has been globally respected.
Djokovic won his first major at the age of 20 years – The Australian Open in 2008. He defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the finals of the Australian Open. Earlier in 2007, Djokovic lost the finals to Federer and had another close loss in 2010 to Nadal at the US Open.
The Win (latest)
The US Open finals held between Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev on 11 September 2023, was a true spectacle. Djokovic outlasted Medvedev to win the finals prevailing with a score of 6-3, 7-6, 6-3. This included a second set that lasted 104 minutes- talk about exhaustion and mental fitness!
Djokovic’s victory over Medvedev at the recently concluded US Open 2023 brought him to winning 24 grand slams at Tennis’ four majors, namely:
a. The Australian Open,
c. Roland-Garros, and
d. US open.
making him the only player in history to level with the all-time record holder Margaret Court.
Other players close to Djokovic’s win, also considered some of the greatest players in tennis and rivals in the sport are:
– Rafeal Nadal who has won a total of 22 majors.
– Roger Federer (retired) has won a total of 22 majors
– Pete Sampras comes close to 14 majors win.
Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer are collectively known as the ‘big three’ of the modern game. Some of the closest finals that have kept us on the edge of our seats over the years have been played amongst them.
The 2023 Grand Slam season
Novak won his first title of the season at the Australian Open 2023 where he has returned after a year of absence. This win got him to win 22 grand slams. Pointing to his family, coaches, and friends, he said ‘It was just one of those movements where you feel a huge burden is off your back after all we have been through.’
Novak went on to win his 23rd title at Roland Garos however suffered a loss at the Wimbledon finals from the young Carlos. Leading him to the US Open 2023 for this 24th Grand Slam win. Winning his 3rd win of the season at US Open, Novak has proven his mental and physical resilience on the court time and again.
Experts applaud Novak’s ability to block out the noise and focus on his game with precision, and technique to win the game point. He has overcome all physical struggles and injuries tobecome number 1 time and again. His coach – Goran Ivanisevic mentioned – ‘The guy is unbelievable. I don’t know how to describe it in words. I thought I saw everything, and then you see this. Probably I’m going to see something else.’
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Celebrities in the audience
US Open is known for several celebrities who show up to watch their favorite players. This thrilling final saw:
– Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves who were sitting in Novak Djokovic’s player’s box. They supported Novak and saw him win the men’s championship.
– Justin Timberlake and Manuel Miranda were spotted at the venue.
– Kylie Jenner and Timothee Chalamet in one of their rare appearances.
Tennis community called Novak Djokovic the GOAT – Greatest of All time:
a. Boris Becker
Boris is a global sensation himself in the world of tennis and has been a seven-time Grand Slam winner. He was also Novak’s coach for many years. Boris in a Q&A on his Instagram mentioned that one of the most successful players in the history of tennis is Novak.
b. Rick Macci
Rick is a former coach for Serena and Venus Williams and has quoted Novak as a GOAT in Tennis on one of his social media posts.
“@DjokerNole is the GOAT because the numbers tell it all. 24 SLAMS 96 singles titles. But he is on Mt. Rushmore because when you play the Serbian Sniper, he made you RUSH MORE!”
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c. Andy Roddick
Former world No. 1 has also taken to his social media to mention – “It’s an impossibility to make a statistical argument against him (Novak) being the best ever. It’s like proving gravity at this point. He’s now tied Margaret Court on 24 Slams but he wants all of the records, so he’ll want to get to 25.”
d. Pat Rafter
Another former world no. 1 in Tennis quoted – “To me, [with] 24 [Grand Slam singles titles], it’s pretty evident that he’s best player of all time. He’s got the record and he’s probably got the best win-loss record against all the players against each other as well, and against the other top players.”
e. Sania Mirza
Former women’s doubles world no. 1 – Sania Mirza mentioned in her interview to The Week’s Neeru Bhatia – “The debate will continue but I definitely think that, given the way Novak is playing physically, he has probably become the greatest ever male player if you look at the numbers. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal forced each other to become the best and they credit each other, and also Novak, for pushing them to their limits.”
The list goes on with names like former No. 1 Tim Hensman, Liam Broady, Patrick McEnroe, snooker legend Ronnie O’Sullivan, Tony Nadal (Rafael’s former coach and uncle), and Chirs Eubanks. These statements have been made over their social media or in different interviews. They reflect the consensus among many tennis players and other experts of the sport, Novak is indeed one of the greatest players of all time.
Over the past 16+ years of Novak’s career, he has consistently proven his resilience, rebounding from physical injuries to return to the court only stronger. Playing against Nadal, Federer, or the young guns like Carlos – he has shown tremendous endurance and stamina to turn the points around in his favor. Statistically, Novak Djokovic, is undeniably the greatest player of all time.