‘Djokovic Is Still the Player to Beat’ – Change of Guard Narratives Blown Away as Former Pro Refuses to Write Off World No.1

Published 02/12/2024, 3:24 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

Novak Djokovic was unable to win a second consecutive Australian Open when he was beaten by 22-year-old Italian Jannik Sinner in the semi-finals of the grand slam last month. However, the world number one’s shocking loss at the Australian Open this year hasn’t raised any alarm in the mind of Tim Henman. He still believes Novak Djokovic is the ‘player to beat’ in 2024.

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Djokovic’s defeat at the AO did raise questions whether the 36-year-old is past his prime and might not be as dominant as he has been in the coming years.

Tim Henman recalls Novak Djokovic’s honest admission after his shocking exit from the 2024 Australian Open

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Last year in December, Henman heaped praise on the 36YO Serbian tennis superstar while speaking to the Eurosport. He said, “I think he deserves so much credit in so many areas, not only being able to perform and move at his age when it’s surely not getting any easier but still to have the hunger and desire and motivation to keep winning. So in 2024, for sure, Djokovic is the player to beat. I think he’s the favourite at the start of the year and I still think he will dominate.

via Reuters

The 49YO Brit recently backed his statement during an interview with SkySports News. “Djokovic is still the player to beat. He won three of the four majors last year. By his own admission, he didn’t play well in the semi-finals of Melbourne, but he’s still the man to beat.” Even his 30YO compatriot, Laura Robson, backed Djokovic saying he could play tennis until the age of 55, no matter what the results recently. 

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However, Jannik Sinner has given the Serb a tough time on the court during their recent meetings. But do you know Sinner thinks his game is quite similar to Djokovic’s?

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Jannik Sinner feels he’s quite lucky to meet Djokovic

“I think my tennis is similar to Djokovic’s. We both played well from the back of the court, but we tried to go to the net. The way we slide on the track is also similar. I feel lucky to have met them,” Jannik Sinner said.

The 22-year-old Italian went on to add, “Roger is no longer here, but when the three of them were there, I tried to watch what they did in the gym, outside of it. … Learn as much as possible from them. I feel lucky that they are on the tour because they have won more ‘Grand Slam’ titles than anyone else.”

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Novak Djokovic is set to return to Indian Wells after a 5-year-long gap. He has won the tournament 5-times in his career. Can he win his 6th title this time at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden or will Jannik Sinner yet again steal the show?

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Written by:

Sayantan Roy

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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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