Media overreacts to Novak Djokovic statement about Carlos Alcaraz

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Novak Djokovic is most likely the greatest tennis player who has ever lived. He has more Grand Slam titles than any other male player and he’s spent more weeks ranked number 1 than any other player, and second-place isn’t all that close. Djokovic also has reached a level of sustained high-end success that no other player can claim.

Why then would he be ready to retire? And, no. He didn’t say he was, though some in the media appear to think that Djokovic hinted at leaving the game.

The issue was this. During a few questions and answers, while Novak Djokovic was participating at the All-Star Ryder Cup event last week, he was asked about the future of tennis and his rivalry with 20-year-old Carlos Alcaraz. Djokovic responded by saying, “I think tennis, definitely the future is looking good with Carlos (Alcaraz) leading that field.” Djokovic was peaking about five or ten years into the future, but not next year.

Instead, many media outlets seem to have run with the idea that possibly Novak Djokovic is thinking of retiring soon. At least, that is what their headlines imply. But in truth, while Djokovic is taking some much-deserved time off for the next month, he doesn’t seem about to retire altogether.

Novak Djokovic doesn’t seem to be retiring any time soon

Djokovic also answered a question about Alcaraz by saying, “Hopefully I’ll play him as many times as I played the other guys and that will mean I’ll be playing for years to come. But I doubt that, let’s see how it goes.”

This is simply an honest answer from a player who is getting older (in athlete years anyway) and probably won’t be playing for a bunch more years. He will never want to play when he can’t perform up to his own high standards, of course. But Djokovic just won three of four majors in 2023, so his standard of play remains higher than anyone else on the current ATP tour.

Let’s just let Novak Djokovic be himself and have some downtime. He will be back playing this year and is the main threat to win the Australian Open in 2024. Maybe by 2026, we can start writing about the retirement of Djokovic.

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