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The debate is over - Novak Djokovic is the greatest of all time

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Roar Guru
26th September, 2023

It must be fitting that the most complete and perfect player is now regarded as the greatest men’s tennis player of all time.

Novak Djokovic, or ‘Nole’ to his friends, is now enjoying the spotlight of attention without the other two, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Viewed as not being as popular, he sought “revenge” by becoming the dominant player in men’s tennis. Nadal himself recently stated Novak is “the best in history”.

Everyone has their favourite and opinion as to who is the greatest but based on pure statistics, Djokovic now stands alone as the best.

After he won his 24th Grand Slam at the 2023 US Open, the debate of who was the greatest of all time was over. Nadal has stated he will retire next year, Federer has retired, but Novak has indicated he will keep playing while he is still beating the younger ones. With his devotion to health and fitness, there is no reason he cannot keep going for another 3-4 years, and what will he have achieved at career’s end?

Novak Djokovic celebrates winning the 2023 US Open.

Novak Djokovic celebrates winning the 2023 US Open. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Roger Federer was the artiste, Nadal the street fighter and Djokovic is the achiever, the one who likes to dominate. Novak leads Nadal 30-29 in overall matches and Federer 27-23 and is one of only two players to beat Nadal at the French Open.

I could list his overall achievements here, but it is an extremely lengthy list! Here are highlights; the first male player to win the triple career Grand Slam; reclaimed number one ATP ranking for a record 390th week over twelve different years; and became the oldest US Open men’s singles champion at 36 years in the 2023 event.


With the domination of the big three subsiding, people would have felt there would be a lull in men’s tennis but this has not been the case. Fans are realising they are witnessing the greatest men’s player and his enthralling battles with youthful players, including Carlos Alcaraz.

Their marathon effort at the Cincinnati Masters was the longest best-of-three-sets final in ATP tour history. Djokovic has remarkably won seven of the last twelve Grand Slams and reached the finals of all four Slams in 2021 and 2023.

I do wonder, and this is purely imaginary of course, what the reaction would be to Novak Djokovic if he was an Australian with his record of achievement? Would his perceived faults and beliefs be overlooked considering his magnificent career? Just a thought to ponder.

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 11: Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after winning against Casper Ruud of Norway during the Men's Single Final on Day Fifteen of the 2023 French Open at Roland Garros on June 11, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning the 2023 French Open. (Photo by Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

He is a remarkable man, born in 1987 in Belgrade, Serbia, the landlocked country in the Balkans, known for most of the 20th century as part of Yugoslavia. The “Joker” and yes, he does have a good sense of humour, can speak six languages, is the backbone of the Serbian Davis Cup team, founder of the Novak Djokovic Foundation and in 2014 donated his winnings from the Italian Open to victims of the European floods.

Novak tells of when as a seven-year-old he dreamt of being the best player in the world and winning the Wimbledon trophy. Little did he know that he would also win another twenty-three trophies as well…

One of the great motivators for people is to prove others wrong, this is well supported by what Djokovic has achieved, “His mindset. He is a conqueror and dominator. He loves to prove people wrong,” claimed Patrick Mouratoglou, former coach of Serena Williams,


“The fact that there were so many fans for the two others [Nadal and Federer] and less for him that he was not as liked as the two others, I felt that it created in him the will to make revenge one way or another. The best answer to that is to be undoubtedly better than them in terms of achievement,” he told

Some like to please all of the people, all of the time, others are more independently minded with their own opinions and beliefs, which can make for conflict, hence why Djokovic creates division.

One thing is for certain though. With Novak Djokovic – the GOAT debate is over.