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After Chris Evert, Jimmy Connors Takes the Lead in Getting Vocal on Novak Djokovic as Tennis Fans Receive ‘Respect’ Ultimatum

Published 09/20/2023, 1:13 AM EDT

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The 24 Grand Slam champion, Novak Djokovic, is undoubtedly making the headlines. But for what reasons? After winning the US Open this year, he became the player to win the most grand slam titles, matching Margaret Court’s record. And yet, it is something else that most insiders are talking about.

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The Serb’s glory has become a hard-to-swallow pill for many in the tennis community. The former World No.1, Rennae Stubbs, admired Djokovic but declared that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were the most loved. But Chris Evert intervened to declare Djokovic as the best, irrespective of what motivates him. The Serb has endured hate almost his entire career. But now, even Jimmy Connors has stepped up to acknowledge his greatness. He delivered the praise that the Djoker deserves.

Jimmy Connors awakens people to Novak Djokovic’s reality


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After Djokovic achieved his 24th Slam at the US Open, he received a mixed response from tennis fans. The comparison of the Serbian legend with the Spaniard Nadal and the Swiss veteran Federer spread like wildfire. Serena Williams’ former coach Rennae Stubbs said his titles were still not enough to join Federer and Nadal as iconic figures in tennis. When in fact, the Serb has won more titles than either.

It was then that Evert declared the Djoker as the G.O.A.T. Now, Connors too backed the former WTA No.1. The 71-year-old said it was about time the World No.1 gets the respect that he deserves. Djokovic’s consistent best form at 36 years is one of the rarest sights in tennis. And yet, the Serb is receiving flak for his persona. However, in the game of tennis, is it the skill that matters, or how affable a player is?


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Connors clapped back at the haters with the ultimate reality that the world has to embrace. In his podcast, Advantage Connors, the American lauded the Serb for his determination. Connors said, “We’re talking about a 36-year-old guy who’s making the headlines. And I’m going to say it again. I like that.”

Watch This Story: ‘Difficult To Compare’ – A Week After Novak Djokovic’s US Open Victory, Serena Williams’ Ex-coach Dishes Out The Ultimate Verdict On The G.O.A.T. Debate In Tennis

The 8-time Grand Slam singles winner firmly stated, “He does everything he can to be the best he can be. All you have to do is just give him respect for everything he’s put into it. And by the way, he’s on number 24.” Djokovic is not stopping anytime soon as he aims for an Olympic medal while also competing at the Australian Open.

The Serb stood undefeated across courts and surfaces and laid strict boundaries regarding the tournaments he would participate in. His focus is on achieving as much as he can and playing for as long as he can, and for that, the Connors honored the Serb. But what about his plans for the Paris Olympics?

Novak Djokovic versus Rafael Nadal at Paris Olympics?

After claiming his 24th Slam at the Flushing Meadows, Novak Djokovic confirmed he has no plans to retire. The World No. 1 said he would play till young champions constantly defeat him. Since it is not happening, Djokovic is focused solely on smashing his own records. His eyes are also set on the 2024 Paris Olympics, where he may face one of his toughest rivals.


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While the Djoker is at the top of his game, his rival Nadal has also teased the possibility of participating in the Olympics next year. He recently said the 2024 Olympics in Paris would be a nice way to end his career. The Paris Olympics will take place on clay, which is Nadal’s preferred surface. This gives him a slight advantage over his rivals.

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“The 2024 Olympics in Paris [held at RG] would be a nice end to my career if I feel good. My schedule can change if I feel I can have a chance to win at Roland Garros,” he said. If he does play in Paris, fans may witness the iconic clash between the two titans.


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While Nadal has been away from the court for a long time, his form remains a mystery. Meanwhile, Djoker has shown his capacity to move mountains in his current form. And if he wins the Australian Open, the G.O.A.T. debate may just be buried for good.

‘Never Came Out of My Mouth’ – Serena Williams’ Ex-coach Clears the Air on Controversial Novak Djokovic Verdict as Profound Roger Federer Bias Backfires

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Written by:

Krishna Priya


One take at a time

Vadlamani Krishna Priya is a tennis writer at Essentially Sports. Pursuing her passion for storytelling, she has a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. Helped by her cousin who introduced her to the rules and regulations of the game during her childhood, Roger Federer matches became Priya's gateway to the world of tennis.
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Edited by:

Mitali Dey