Novak Djokovic ‘greatness’ hailed by eight-time Grand Slam champion
Novak Djokovic has been praised by eight-time Grand Slam champion and former No.1 Jimmy Connors, after his tenth Australian Open win.
Speaking on his podcast, Connors said, “I want to say this, the guy is one f***ing great tennis player, right?”
“He is not afraid to go out there and play the game, his game. Win or lose. He is not afraid to put it on the line. He knows he has got a bullseye on his back. Even more now.”
The Serb returned to the top of the ATP rankings after his triumph in Melbourne, and Connors was keen to point out how the 35-year-old remains on top despite the young talent coming through.
“He is not afraid against all these young guys, who had some pretty good tournaments. But he is not afraid of that. He plays the game, he is not afraid to mix it up.”
Connors continued, “He is not afraid to take the ball early, he is not afraid to get 20 balls to win a point. He is not afraid to figure out a way to win – and, you know, to me, I like seeing that.”
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With his latest major title Djokovic levelled Rafael Nadal with 22 Grand Slams, and Connors explained how he believes the rivalry has helped excel the sport.
“Rivalries are so great. That’s why people show up to watch the game, watch the match, and watch the excitement.”
The American knows all about rivalries, as he shared an almost 15 year feud with fellow American John McEnroe. The rivalry consisted of 34 matches, with McEnroe getting the better with 20 wins to Connors 14.
“Sometimes you have got to find a reason, find a reason to dig deeper and come out on top and win,” said Connors.
He added, “So what is that? Where do you find that? What do you dig into to go down into your guts? Sometimes you got to find something that just burns you to the ground to come out on top.”
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