Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

Novak Djokovic explains his ‘tremendous respect for every single tennis player’

Novak Djokovic has paid tribute to the current strength of men’s tennis as his generation starts to make way for an exciting new batch of talent.

Djokovic himself still appears to be fit and at his peak, but other stars of his era such as Juan Martin del Potro, Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray are either already retired or well past their best.

He, though, says he has has nothing but admiration for the stars of his own era and those that are coming through to succeed them.

Asked about his thoughts on tennis’ other top stars, Novak Djokovic told Eurosport: “I have to say that I have a very good relationship with all of them.

“I have tremendous respect for every single tennis player, particularly the ones that are reaching the biggest heights in the tennis world because I understand how that feels and what is necessary to do in order to achieve those things.

“It takes a lot of commitment, dedication and hard work so I respect all of these guys. I think it is very good for tennis that we have young guys like [Carlos] Alcaraz – number one in the world, leading the way and winning a Grand Slam this year – [Holger] Rune, who is coming up, and of course, [Jannik] Sinner.

“Also a bit older guys like [Stefanos] Tsitsipas, [Daniil] Medvedev, [Andrey] Rublev, and [Alexander] Zverev – these guys that have already been established in the top five, top 10 in the world, and Grand Slam winners as well.”

Men’s tennis is certainly going through a bit of a changing of the guard now, with Roger Federer retired and Rafael Nadal and Djokovic starting to wind down their schedules.

That has led to the likes of Alcaraz, Sinner and Felix Auger-Aliassime starting to emerge as serious contenders for the biggest titles.

“I think it is something that was inevitable to happen after the 15 years of domination of Nadal, Federer, myself, Murray, Wawrinka and Del Potro. These guys have been leading the game, and of course, you are going to have the next generation.

“Many people are concerned if the game is in good hands and whether people are going to continue watching after the ‘golden era’, so to speak, but it was a ‘golden era’ with [Bjorn] Borg, [John] McEnroe, [Pete] Sampras, [Andre] Agassi and [Boris] Becker and still, there were new guys coming up.”

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.