“He’s Not Great”: Legend Says Novak Djokovic Is No Where Close to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s Charisma

Published 08/03/2021, 1:23 AM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis – Men’s Singles – Bronze medal match – Ariake Tennis Park – Tokyo, Japan – July 31, 2021. Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts during his bronze medal match against Pablo Carreno of Spain REUTERS/Mike Segar


More than being medal-less at Tokyo Olympics 2020, Novak Djokovic has received heat over his out-of-control actions during the bronze medal match. For this, the two-time US Open champion Tracy Austin has used the example of his arch-rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

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According to the retired American legend, Federer and Nadal are Mother Teresa and Dalai Lama of tennis. Consequently, she calls Djokovic “not great” but also attempts to illustrate his position.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis – Men’s Singles – Bronze medal match – Ariake Tennis Park – Tokyo, Japan – July 31, 2021. Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts during his bronze medal match against Pablo Carreno of Spain REUTERS/Mike Segar

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Tracy Austin explains the difference between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

Primarily, the former World No.1 recalled Djokovic throwing the racquet in the empty stadium during the bronze medal match. In addition to that, she mentioned past greats of tennis who maintained utmost discipline on the court.

“First of all, Djokovic imploding,” Austin started. “I have never seen a player where they actually kind of hit the ball in the net and take the racquet and chuck it 15 rows up into the stadium. I will say, for Djokovic, he’s being compared to Federer and Nadal; these are like Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama. I mean, you know, they don’t do anything wrong. So, if he played in the era of John McEnroe, Ilie Nastase, and Jimmy Connors, he’d be number 4.”

Conclusively, Austin explained that although he aims to be a perfectionist, he is not perfect or even great.

“You know, he’s a perfectionist, he has his outbursts, he doesn’t love it either. He is not perfect, he is not great, but it’s never easy when he’s the target all the time.” She ended, “He’s No.1 in the world; I am not condoning it. He has a lot of pressure.”

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis – Men’s Singles – Bronze medal match – Ariake Tennis Park – Tokyo, Japan – July 31, 2021. Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts during his bronze medal match against Pablo Carreno of Spain REUTERS/Edgar Su

Records-wise, the big three – Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic, each have 20 Grand Slam titles. 

Where will Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic play next?

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As of now, there is no confirmation on where the trio would once again grace the main draw together. However, most likely, Fed-Rafa-Nole would participate at the last Grand Slam of the year, the US Open 2021.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia, Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerlan wait to go on stage during the ATP Heritage Celebration at The Waldorf=Astoria on in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

All in all, Djokovic would be targeting the completion of the 2021 Grand Slam in New York. While Federer and Nadal failed to stop him in Paris and London, it would be interesting to see them try again.

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Who do you think will be winning the US Open this year?

Watch this story: How Roger Federer, Rafael nadal, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, And Other Tennis Stars Travel

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Purav Joshi

1147 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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