“I’m the Best”: Novak Djokovic Settles the Debate After Wimbledon Win, But Leaves it to Fans to Decide ‘GOAT’

Published 07/11/2021, 5:30 PM EDT
Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 11, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates with the trophy after winning his final match against Italy’s Matteo Berrettini REUTERS/Toby Melville

Novak Djokovic is no longer hesitant to call himself the best but has left it to the tennis fans to decide if he is the greatest ever.


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Speaking to reporters after lifting his third straight Grand Slam title this year and going level with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s career haul of Majors, the Serbian said he considers himself to be the best.

For him, the choice for the best in men’s tennis is longer a choice but when it comes to deciding the ‘GOAT’ (Greatest of All Time), he concedes that it’s still open for debate.


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Novak Djokovic leaves it to fans to decide if he’s GOAT

“I think I’m the best and I consider myself the best. But whether or not I am the greatest of all time, I leave that to other people,” Djokovic said.

He added that it isn’t easy and not entirely fair to compare players from different generations and eras because of different conditions, playing styles and a whole host of factors.

The Serb further reasoned that the conditions under which tennis was played 50 years ago is different from what it is today.

And one can’t fault his argument as the game has evolved from the harder balls, wooden racquets and faster surfaces in the sixties to bigger racquets, softer balls and slower courts of today and the difference, to put it simply, is like chalk and cheese.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 11, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic with Italy’s Matteo Berrettini after winning the men’s final REUTERS/Paul Childs

“It’s very difficult to compare eras. It’s completely different conditions to compare say 50 years ago to today,” the Serb said.

Djokovic came storming back after losing opening to Matteo Berrettini

Coming into the final as the overwhelming favorite, the defending champion raced to a 5-2 lead in the opening set.

However, Berrettini broke back and eventually took the opening set to a tiebreak. The Italian edged the World No.1 in the tiebreaker to take the first set, much against the run of play.


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Jolted, Djokovic came out all guns blazing in the second set and got himself a decisive break of serve to make it 1-1 going into the third.


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over 1 year ago

From that moment forward, the Serb didn’t take his foot off the accelerator as he motored on to win the next two sets, lifting his sixth Wimbledon title and keeping his dream of a ‘Golden Slam’ alive.



Priyabrata Chowdhury

1101 articles

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.