As far as statistical achievements go, none are as accomplished as Novak Djokovic. The Serbian superstar has won the most number of grand slams(24), has the most lopsided head-to-head record in history and is a fierce candidate for the GOAT of tennis.
Many commentators and fans claim otherwise, saying statistics alone do not make the player the greatest, but as far as one former tennis legend’s opinions go, Novak is one of the best, if not the best player ever.
Jimmy Connors Novak Djokovic GOAT debate
Former world no. 1 tennis player Jimmy Connors, who held on to the top ranking for a then-record 160 consecutive weeks, knows a thing or two about records and statistics. And it is this knowledge that has made up the American’s mind as to who the GOAT of tennis is.
According to Jimmy, Novak Djokovic stands tall in the debate for the GOAT. He says that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal do not reach the stature of Novak’s achievements. He concludes by stating that Novak is the greatest of his era.
I finished a long time ago, 35 years ago, with 109. It has stood a long time and if somebody passes me, you better be pretty freaking good, you know? And if that happens, on you go,” Connors said on the Advantage Connors podcast.
Novak Djokovic has had a record-extending 2023 season where he has shattered expectations and records with his powerful groundstrokes. He recently became the oldest player to win the Cincinnati Open and also played the longest-ever ATP singles match.
In the statistical competition against his fellow ‘Big 3’ competitors, Novak Djokovic added yet another feather to his cap as he concluded yet another season as world No. 1.
Novak Djokovic standing tall against ‘The Big Three’
Novak Djokovic entered the 2023 US Open knowing he could regain the world No. 1 ranking from Carlos Alcaraz and he accomplished that feat early on in the tournament. He has since held on to his ranking with ferocity, winning the US Open and the Paris Masters to cement his place at the top.
Alcaraz, meanwhile, has floundered at major events, leaving the chances of regaining the ranking from Djokovic very slim. His fears were confirmed on Monday during the Nitto ATP Finals, when Novak Djokovic won his first-round match and moved clear of the Spaniard at the top of the ATP rankings table.
With him being uncatchable, Novak Djokovic officially ended his eighth season overall as world no. 1. That is a remarkable achievement given that both Federer and Nadal lag in the race and, realistically, do not have an opportunity to catch up with Djokovic.
The achievement is another victory for the Serbian, who now has the chance to hold the top ranking for a record 400 weeks. This is an Open Era record for men’s singles and with Roger having retired and Rafael entering his final season, Novak has the opportunity to live up to Jimmy Connor’s great words about him.
What are your opinions on Jimmy Connor’s statement on Novak Djokovic as the GOAT? Let us know in the comments section below.