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“Pretty Straightforward”: Legends Put Novak Djokovic Ahead of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in ‘GOAT’ race

Published 11/19/2020, 7:00 AM EST

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via Reuters

Former stars Jim Courier and Andy Roddick have backed Novak Djokovic to finish with more career Grand Slam titles than peers Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. They said what puts Djokovic ahead in the Slam race is that he has age on his side.

Novak Djokovic well poised to finish with most Slams: Former stars

Courier and Roddick said that the Serb is at the peak of his peak and is best placed among the ‘Big Three’ to finish as the ‘Greatest of All Time’. Nadal and Federer currently lead the race with 20 Grand Slam titles each. However, the Serb, at 33, is the youngest of the ‘Big Three’. Nadal is 34 and Federer is in the twilight of his career, at 39.

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With 17 Slam titles under his belt already, Djokovic is well poised to not only catch up with the other two but also set his own number by the time is done.

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Novak has “5-6 Major titles” in him

Speaking on Tennis Channel, Courier said, “The way I see it…Novak will win more Majors from today than the other two players, I believe. Nadal, I think, will be second in that competition. Federer, maybe he has another one in him.”

“He was ‘oh, so close’ at Wimbledon last year. Let’s not forget that Novak stole one there. It could easily be Federer 21 and Djokovic 16,” the four-time Grand Slam winner said.

Courier said that should Djokovic stay fit and motivated, and that he should finish with another 5-6 Major titles. One of the best serve-and-volleyers of his time, Courier added, “I think Nadal has probably got 2-3 more in him…I think that Djokovic is somewhere in that 5-6 range, all assuming health.”

Holding two match points at 8-7 in the fifth set, Federer couldn’t bring home the bacon at the Wimbledon final last year.

Read More: “I’m a Proponent for Best-of-Three’ Matches”: Novak Djokovic Contradicts Rafael Nadal

via Reuters

Roddick backs Serb to win 3 out of the next 4 Slams

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Roddick, the former US Open champion, echoed Courier’s refrain and said, “In my mind, it’s pretty straightforward. I think Novak is the favorite in three out of the four Slams for the next year or two. If you think back in 2020, he misses Wimbledon (it couldn’t be held this year because of the pandemic) where he’s been the best player for a long time.”

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The US Open happens and he hits the lines lady. Now it looks like Australia’s in a bit of flux. Novak’s going, ‘Come on, we gotta get on the court, we gotta play these matches while I’m in the prime of my career,’” said the American, who is remembered as one of the biggest servers in the game.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

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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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