Roger Federer is a ‘genius’ but Novak Djokovic will surpass his 20 majors

Novak Djokovic will finish his career with more majors than Roger Federer, even if a talent like the Swiss may not be seen again, says Patrick Mouratoglou.

Roger Federer is a tennis “genius” but by the time all is said and done, Novak Djokovic will have surpassed his record for the most Grand Slam titles.

That is the view of Patrick Mouratoglou, the long-time coach of 23-time major winner Serena Williams who also works alongside a rising star of the men’s game, Stefanos Tsitsipas.

There are similarities with Federer and Serena, who after dominant careers are both defying their age of 38 in a bid to add more Grand Slams to their impressive list of accolades to solidify their standings in the history books.

Mouratoglou does not think he will see a talent like Federer again, but that does not mean he expects him to win the race with Djokovic and Rafael Nadal to end their respective careers with the most majors.

Instead, he thinks Novak Djokovic will come out on top, despite the Serbian presently sitting in third place on the list which is topped by Switzerland’s Federer.

Federer has 20 Slams to long-time rival Nadal’s 19, but Djokovic is in hot pursuit with 16 after his wins at the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2019.

The success at All England club came at the Swiss star’s expense after an unbelievable final that took a fifth-set tie-break to decide.

Mouratoglou believes Djokovic has proven that, more often than not, he comes out on top when the top three stars are playing at their peaks as well as having a strong track record against Nadal and Federer in head-to-head matches.

He also highlighted the fact the 32-year-old had a two-year dry spell after struggling with injuries and form after his 2016 win at the French Open.

Without that troublesome run, Mouratoglou feels Djokovic would likely already be in front of his two older rivals’ major tallies.

Mouratoglou was talking to Spiegel in quotes carried by the Express.

“When the big three play their best tennis, Novak wins most of the time,” he said.

“If Novak had not had the two years when he almost disappeared from tennis, he would probably already be the player with the most Grand Slam titles.

“I can imagine that one day he will be the most successful player in history.”

But he added of Federer: “Roger is a genius. He plays tennis in perfection.

“I cannot remember ever seeing a player playing tennis like this. And I think I will not, until I die.

“You can film Roger and then play the tape in slow motion: Then you can see that everything he does is perfect.”

Djokovic is certainly in a strong position to usurp Federer and Nadal by the end of his career and he has regularly acknowledged that the feat is a personal target he has.

Federer is still capable of greatness, as his competitiveness in 2019 showed, but he lacks the consistency he once had and, most likely, would be doing well to land one last major at this late stage of his career, which would be a magnificent crowning achievement.

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It would be a stretch to expect either Nadal or Djokovic to remain competitive for as long as the Swiss star has managed to so close to his 40s, but the Serbian should still have around another three years of peak play left in him, perhaps more.

So even if Federer does get to 21, Djokovic is looking at having roughly three years to land six majors to get to 22.

He has won two-per-year in 2018 and 2019, so while such an accomplishment is difficult, it is attainable.

Nadal will still have a say too, given he is coming off one of the best years of his career in terms of results and largely avoiding the injury problems that previously plagued him.

With his dominance at Roland Garros, he will expect to add to his 19, though how long he can avoid injuries hampering his progress will be the big determining factor to what additional Slams he will collect outside of Paris.

The physical problems he has had to overcome also make it unlikely he will be able to play for as long as Federer has or Djokovic may be able to.

And, of course, at some stage the next generation of tennis stars will be able to halt the big three’s dominance of the Slams, so Novak Djokovic would have to get the bulk of his next majors won before a new force emerges from the pack.

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Whatever happens, tennis fans will relish seeing it all unfold.

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