Novak Djokovic - Australian Open 2023

Novak Djokovic declares that he is ‘not afraid’ of ‘new generation’

Novak Djokovic has sent out a clear message to the next generation of ATP stars as he beat Tallon Griekspoor to reach the quarter-final of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Djokovic beat the Dutchman, 6-2 6-3, and spoke about his competition after the match, saying: “The new generations are coming, but I’m not afraid.”

The Serb currently sits at the top of the rankings despite Daniil Medvedev and Carlos Alcaraz taking his spot for periods of last year, and he celebrates his 378th week as ATP No.1 this week.

This landmark is particularly significant as it signals the record for most weeks as No.1, overtaking Steffi Graf’s incredible reign.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion’s appearance in Dubai is his first since winning the Australian Open, and his second round win was much more comfortable than his first where he just edged out qualifier Tomas Machac, 6-3 3-6 7-6(1).

The 36-year-old was evidently pleased with his improved performance against Griekspoor, “Yesterday I really had to work hard to get a win. Tonight, right from the blocks, I think I was sharp. I played definitely better-quality tennis than I did last night.”

Djokovic continued, “Maybe the last three or four games weren’t the best to close the match, but I managed to find a good serve in the end. I’m very pleased with the performance and with the way I felt on the court, and hopefully things can go in the right direction for tomorrow.”

After Dubai, the majority of the ATP tour are heading to Indian Wells for the first Masters 1000 of the year. However, it is still unclear as to whether Djokovic will be joining them.

The Serb cannot currently gain entry into the US due to his vaccination status, but last week Djokovic confirmed that he has applied for a ‘special permit’ and is waiting for the result to see if he can compete for a sixth title in the desert.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.