“Could Be Three Guys on 20 After Wimbledon”: 7-Time Grand Slam Champion Makes Bold Prediction on Novak Djokovic

Published 06/13/2021, 3:00 AM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 11, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic shakes hands with Spain’s Rafael Nadal after winning their semi final match REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes


Tennis great Mats Wilander has backed Novak Djokovic to win the French Open and go level with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s career Grand Slam haul by lifting the Wimbledon crown as well.

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Roaring back from a set down, the current World No.1 took down 13-time Roland-Garros champion Rafael Nadal in a semi-final for the ages on Friday to set up a final with World No.5 Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Speaking to Eurosport, Wilander, a seven-time Grand Slam champion himself, said Djokovic, Federer and Nadal will be tied at 20 Grand Slam titles at the end of Wimbledon.

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On the ‘GOAT’ debate, which pits the Big 3 in a race for the greatest and where each of them is likely to finish in terms of career Grand Slam championship wins, the Swede said the numbers, at the minute, favour the Serb to pip his rivals as the greatest ever.

Mats Wilander says Rafael Nadal-Novak Djokovic SF the best clay court match he’s seen

“Novak could be on 19 after this (French Open final) and there could be three guys on 20 after Wimbledon. We have to start talking about the ‘GOAT’,” Wilander said.

He heaped praise on Djokovic for the level of tennis he produced to end Nadal’s reign of supremacy at Roland-Garros.

Visibly impressed with the way the two gladiators left their all on Philippe-Chatrier, the former World No.1 said he hadn’t seen a “better clay court match”.

He called it an intriguing battle of attrition where both players needed to stay a step ahead of each other and it showed in the manner they seemed to anticipate where the other would hit.

The Swede added that this was easily the most “aggressive” that he had ever seen the Serb on a clay court.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 11, 2021, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during his semi final match against Spain’s Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

Watch This Link: When Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal Played an Intense 4-Hour Thriller at Madrid Open

Stefanos Tsitsipas would be happy seeing Djokovic spend so many hours on court, says Wilander

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“Novak says this is the greatest match he has played against Rafa at Roland-Garros and of course he’s beaten him once before. But it gets to the point where you can’t overlook these numbers,” the legend said of the Serbian.

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On the final against Tsitsipas, he said the Greek would have liked what he saw of the number of hours Djokovic was out on the court battling the defending champion.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

1101 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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