‘I Am Who I Am’- Novak Djokovic Drops His Thoughtful Take On the Tennis Goat Debate

Published 12/28/2023, 11:50 PM EST

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Who is the ultimate GOAT in the tennis world? This has been the burning question for quite a while now. Is it the one who has 14 major titles on a clay court or the one with 8 Grand Slam titles on grass? Or is it the one who has triumphed 14 times on a hard court in a major event? Well, let’s hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. Recently, the current world number 1, Novak Djokovic gave an interview to L’Equipe where he gave his take on this heated debate in the tennis world. What did he say? Let’s find out.

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Talking about Grand Slam titles, well Novak Djokovic leads the race with 24 titles, followed by Rafael Nadal (22) and Roger Federer (20). But does it put an end to the GOAT debate? Well, Djokovic came up with a thoughtful answer leaving the others to conclude. 

Novak Djokovic leaves it to others to decide who’s is the real GOAT

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Recently Djokovic was named as the ‘Champion of Champions’ by L’Equipe ahead of other legends of the sporting world and here’s what he said on the GOAT debate after that. “We can suggest three answers. The first: I am the best. If we think that, some will say ‘he is arrogant. He does not respect 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 others. The third is my answer,” Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic had one of the best seasons of his career in 2023. He won a total of 7 titles including 3 out of 4 Grand Slams. He surpassed Rafa’s record of 22 men’s singles Grand Slam titles at Nadal’s favorite Grand Slam this year. Then Novak Djokovic went on to surpass Roger Federer’s record of 46 Grand Slam semi-final appearances. The 36YO has been the lone fighter among the ‘Big Three’ this year. Federer has already taken his retirement last year while Nadal was forced to put an early end to his season after getting an injury at the 2023 AO.

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Instead of being one of the GOAT, Novak Djokovic does have a negative fan base in the tennis world. So, perhaps he took a pensive approach to this heated debate. But having said that, one has already retired and the other two are also nearing their 40s. Who’s next?

Djokovic picks the name of the upcoming star in the world of tennis

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A few days back he backed his arch-rival, Rafael Nadal saying the Spaniard is fully prepared to compete for the titles at the major events. Rafa is set to make his comeback at the Brisbane International which takes place from December 31. Whereas, Djokovic will make his debut for Serbia at the United Cup which will commence from December 29. But before that top 2 ranked players in the current ATP men’s singles ranking faced each other in Riyadh on December 27. What happened in this epic clash?

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Well, Carlos Alcaraz got the better of the Serb this time. A sweet revenge for the Spaniard? Perhaps yes. But the Serbian icon heaped praise on the Spanish youngster, saying Alcaraz is the next big name in the tennis world. That’s quite a compliment for the young lad. But did Djokovic show any signs of stopping any sooner?

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A few days back he expressed his desire to play well into his 40s just like American football legend, Tom Brady. Can Djokovic repeat his dominance in the 2024 season? Share your thoughts below.

Watch This Story: Despite Burning Desire, Venus Williams Gives A Sneak-Peek Into Daily Struggles As Tennis Comeback Awaits Fans

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Written by:

Sayantan Roy

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One take at a time

Tennis has been my passion since my childhood. My sheer love and enthusiasm for the racket sport has been a major influence in me wanting to build a career in sports journalism. Additionally, being a die-hard Real Madrid fan makes me more connected to my tennis idol-Rafael Nadal, who himself is a huge Los Blancos fan and a contender to become its next President.
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Edited by:

Ananya Giri

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