When Djokovic is fine …

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What people want is obedient tennis players

John McEnroe

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Dismount the big three, engrossed as they are in their mad race for the greats …?

It won’t be that simple.

This is the story of Novak Djokovic (33). On Thursday, before the microphones, he launched a warning.

He said:

– There is a lot of talk about the Next Gen and all that they will take care of the three of us (he was referring to Federer, Nadal and himself), but in reality that is not happening yet. We can talk about it all day if you want, but with all due respect to the guys, they still have a lot to do. They are going to have to move their ass a lot.

About medvedev

“It is said that the Next Gen will take us down, but they still have a lot to do,” said Djokovic on the eve

And then they spoke the numbers.

Between Wimbledon 2003 and this last Australian Open, members of the Big Three they have won 58 of the 70 Grand Slams that have been contested.

¿Y Zverev?

None.

¿Y Medvedev?

None.

¿Y Auger-Aliassime, Shapovalov, Rublev, Tsitsipás, De Miñaur …?

Nothing, they have nothing.

Daniil Medvedev, durante su final ante Novak Djokovic

Daniel Pockett / GETTY

And so, before beating Medvedev (7-5 ​​and a double 6-2) to project himself towards his 18th big, Novak Djokovic raised his index and said:

-Not yet.

So strong are the big three, so consistent still, that the Next Gen is on its way to becoming the lost gen (lost generation). Among other reasons, because the kids who come behind, the emerging Jannik Sinner or Carlos Alcaraz, are already asking for their turn.

(…)

Tournament by tournament, the debate feeds itself. The race has gone wild and fascinates connoisseurs, who have never seen anything like it.

“Who is going to be the GOAT of tennis? (greatest of all time) ”, These experts wonder.

Everyone has their own perspective, although opinions are asymmetrical.

Many choose Federer. Many others, by Nadal.

Only a few, a few, by Djokovic.

Nocak Djokovic, after his victory in Melbourne 2021

Novak Djokovic, after his triumph in Melbourne 2021

Michael Dodge / AFP

The reason is in the modes.

Djokovic is out of tune in the world of tennis, the discipline of gentlemen, whether or not they are more artificial, of tennis players who applaud their coaches, appreciate the efforts of the organizers and respect and praise the opponent.

That’s what Federer and Nadal play at.

And in that scenario the vacillations like Nick Kyrgios, Fabio Fognini and, to a lesser extent, Djokovic.


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TOPSHOT - Serbia's Novak Djokovic holds the winner's trophy after beating Switzerland's Roger Federer during their men's singles final on day thirteen of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 14, 2019. (Photo by WILL OLIVER / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE

“To get us out of here they will have to move their ass a lot,” says the Serb.

Journalists like Sebastián Fest look for reasons behind Djokovic’s arguments. They interpret that the Serbian has arrived late to the party, a debate that had been opened years before his appearance, when the world was divided, exclusively, between the federians and the nadalistas.

At someone else’s party, that party to which he has been late – a consequence of his celiac disease, a condition that was discovered at an advanced age -, Djokovic wants to serve drinks, drink them, put on the music, dance, thank everyone for their presence and take away the girls.

Dice Fest:

“Djokovic has done many things to try to win over the public, but it is also true that the public is sly and perceives when someone exaggerates. It is very difficult to beat the, let’s say perfection, of Nadal and Federer ”.

And Djokovic justifies his desire for leadership, and even his patriotism:

“Being eleven years old and spending 78 consecutive days in a bunker protecting myself from bombs … those experiences brought me much closer to my people.”

(…)

Beyond these subjective questions – Toni Nadal told us that “Djokovic, when he’s well, is the worst opponent I know …” – the numbers are fascinating.

In the medium term, and with his 18 greats, Djokovic is back on the heels of Federer and Nadal, who they are two steps further, on the platform of the twenty Grand Slams.

In the short term, the revolt is already imminent. Federer has added 310 weeks as ATP leader, a situation that is coming to an end. If nothing changes that, Djokovic, who is entering his 309th week as No. 1 on the circuit, will have overtaken the Swiss on March 8.






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