Novak Djokovic on whether he is the GOAT: ‘We can suggest three answers…’
Novak Djokovic says it is not for him to say whether he is the greatest player of all time, but he is certainly proud of what he has achieved in tennis.
Djokovic has spent almost all of his career locked in a three-way battle with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to secure all the major records in men’s tennis.
Now, most of those records belong to the Serbian, meaning there can be little doubt about him statistically being the best player to ever play the game.
The debate rumbles on though, with many citing differences in eras and other more subjective arguments to make the case for others.
For Djokovic, though, that debate is one he can never really get involved with.
“We can suggest three answers,” Djokovic told L’Equipe when asked if he thinks he is the greatest of all time.
“The first: ‘I am the best.’ If we think that, some will say: ‘he is arrogant! He does not respect the others’.
“The second answer is to say: ‘I don’t think I’m the greatest,’ showing off that I’m totally humble, which is possible.
“And the third: ‘I am who I am, I am proud of what I have accomplished, but I respect other eras and all opinions and I leave the GOAT debate to the others.’
“The third is my answer.”
Can Novak Djokovic post unsurpassable numbers?
Novak Djokovic has just about every record you could possibly want in men’s tennis already, which is even more remarkable given the era in which he has played.
He has more Grand Slam titles than anyone, more Masters, and spent more weeks at world number one than any other player in history. The numbers are truly scary.
“I’m always happy when I return to Australia!” ?
— Eurosport (@eurosport) December 28, 2023
However, what is even more scary is that he is still at the top and looks better than ever – and he is nowhere near ready to quit yet.
“Tom Brady is a great example of a champion in his sport and someone that has had such a great career and longevity,” Djokovic said.
“He has put a lot of hours and a lot of time into self-care, into recovery, into making sure that in a way every aspect of his body and mind is covered so that he can have a long-lasting, successful career.
“I know him personally and I learned a lot from him, from his example, and hopefully I can have a career that goes up to 40 (years old) or maybe even beyond — let’s see.”
Should Djokovic play into his 40s, as Roger Federer did, it’s hard to see anyone ever being able to beat the records he will finish with.
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