“Don’t Think He’s Going To Be Celebrating”: Tennis Great on Novak Djokovic Winning Without Federer and Nadal

Published 08/23/2021, 3:30 PM 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


World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has been the best player this season by far. He has done something not many have been able to execute, winning the first three Grand Slam titles of the season. The Serb is all set to make it four out of four this year. 

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Recently, former great Mats Wilander spoke on Novak Djokovic’s chances of winning the 21st Grand Slam title of his career. He felt that it will not be as easy as people may think. The emergence of the younger players on Tour and the fact that they’ve started winning the big tournaments will be another challenge. He also felt that once he passes Federer and Nadal’s record, the hunger will diminish. 

PARIS, FRANCE May 23. Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Roger Federer of Switzerland great each other as they cross over training sessions on Court Philippe-Chatrier at the 2019 French Open Tennis Tournament at Roland Garros on May 23rd 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

While speaking to Wilander, he stated, “I don’t think he’s going to be celebrating Grand Slam victories when the two of them were playing. But when we go back, Roger Federer won most of his titles when Novak and Rafa were not playing. He played against Lleyton Hewitt, Marat Safin, Andy Roddick. I guess with Novak, he is the last man standing at the end of it all.”

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Novak Djokovic has beaten his arch-rivals to claim glory 

Mats stated that when Federer won, he had to face different opponents and not Rafa or Novak who came on the Tour after a while. Whereas Novak has won a majority of his titles against these two legends. 

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 10: Rafael Nadal of Spain (L) and Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a forehand react after watching a video replay while on the sidelines during the Tie Break Tens ahead of the 2018 Australian Open at Margaret Court Arena on January 10, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

The 7-time Major holder added, “Roger and Rafa are probably the two strongest opponents he has faced and has probably outlasted them. Winning for Novak is just a number right now and that’s going to be hard. I don’t think the 21st Slam for Novak will not be as straightforward as we might expect it.”

Djokovic is expected to return at the US Open. We wish him the very best for the upcoming matches and for the remainder of the season.

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Watch this story: How Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, and Others Travel

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Rohan Kollare

1097 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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