As the likes of Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Ashley Barty retire from the court, Novak Djokovic doesn’t seem like following suit. After defeating 20-year-old Ben Shelton in the US Open semifinals he said that he will be around as long as they (younger generation) don’t figure out a way to beat him.
The thirty-six-year-old star has made the finals in all Four Grand Slams this year and won three Majors to become the first-ever male player to win 24 Grand Slams.
Tennis Legend legends such as Jimmy Connor, Andy Roddick, and John McEnroe have backed Novak Djokovic labeling him as a “remarkable legend and athlete” that the younger generation should learn from.
Jimmy Connors applauds Novak Djokovic’s confident message
Novak Djokovic hinted he will start to consider retirement only when younger players start beating him at the Grand Slam level. “I don’t want to even consider leaving tennis or thinking about an end if I’m still at the top of the game. I will probably consider doing that if I get my ass kicked by young guys in Grand Slams in the years to come,” Djokovic said after beating Ben Shelton in the semi-finals of the US Open.
In the Advantage Connor’s podcast, American tennis legend Jimmy Connor showered Djokovic with praise, asserting that he has shown he is still better than the rest of the tennis players and continues to strive for victory in major tournaments.
“We’re talking about a 36-year-old guy who’s making the headlines. And you know I’m going to say it again. I like that. You know, he made a good statement. He says I’m staying around as long as these young guys don’t want to beat me. I’m gonna stay and play and I don’t blame him, because he is good,” Connor said.
“You know, he works at, he works at it. He does everything he can to be the best he can be and from there I mean all you all you have to do is just give him the respect for everything he’s put into it. And by the way, He’s on number 24,” Connors added.
Novak Djokovic has been the best in Grand Slams over the past three years, taking advantage of Rafael Nadal’s absence and Roger Federer’s decline. Djokovic has won 7 of the last 10 Slams he played and reached two finals
Djokovic not considering retirement despite
Since Novak Djokovic turned pro in 2003, he has been adding trophies to his trophy cabinets and he doesn’t seem to hanging his racket anytime soon. Though 36, he recently won his twenty-fourth Grand Slam in the 2023 US Open, making him the record winner in the single male tennis game – including 39 Masters titles and a joining record of six ATP finals.
Speaking after defeating Ben Shelton in the US Open, Novak Djokovic said, “I know how much work and dedication I put into trying to be in this position. I know I deserve this. I always believe in myself, in my own capabilities as a tennis player, to be able to deliver when it matters.”
“I am not really surprised, to be honest. I feel good physically. I have been as good as I’ve been in years and years. Age is just a number. That phrase is really resonating with me at the moment.”
“I don’t want to even consider leaving tennis or thinking about an end if I’m still at the top of the game. I will probably consider doing that if I get my a** kicked by young guys in Grand Slams in the years to come,” Novak Djokovic concluded.
Novak Djokovic’s intention of staying in the game as long as he remains the pinnacle of the court is a great boost to players of his age. Perhaps, the reason Djokovic made this bold statement is accurately the lack of the younger generation not competing with him at the same level that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal did. It would be good to see him continue winning titles and breaking records but then it doesn’t do well for the future of tennis if one at his age he keeps making the young players look like amateurs on the court.