The numbers are astonishing, but we already know that. Close to 400 weeks at No. 1 (which he will likely attain), 24 Grand Slams, head-to-head leads over the other greats of their time, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. This is what Novak Djokovic has achieved and he will likely accomplish even more.
But would you call Novak Djokovic “a freak”? You would if you were former top-20 player Wally Masur describing Djokovic. And to be fair, Masur also said Nadal and Federer were “freaks,” too when he was on the AO Show podcast recently.
But let’s be real. While some might debate whether Novak Djokovic is the greatest player ever, two of the other players in his era, Nadal and Federer, are also in the conversation for best ever. So if one player has a head-to-head lead over the other two, many more weeks at No. 1, plus more Grand Slams, doesn’t that end any debate of who is the greatest tennis player of all time? It should, right?
Novak Djokovic has a better claim of being the best ever than any other player
According to Masur, “I’m loathed to predict anything against Novak Djokovic because he rocks out…The guy’s a freak and we know that Rafa’s a freak, Roger’s a freak but he’s unbelievable in how meticulous he is.”
Djokovic has actually won by not playing recently. That is because his closest current rival, Carlos Alcaraz, hasn’t performed up to his usual standards in recent months. Since winning Wimbledon, Alcaraz hasn’t won a single tournament and he fell in the fourth round last week at the Shanghai Masters.
This means that the margin that Djokovic had over Alcaraz hasn’t diminished that much. Alcaraz was playing tournaments as Novak Djokovic took some well-deserved time off but Alcaraz couldn’t gain much ground as he wasn’t winning tournaments. Now Djokovic is set to return at the Rolex Paris Masters at the end of October and will play in the Nitto ATP Finals as well. If he does well in those two, he will once again finish with a year-end No. 1 ranking.
Novak Djokovic is a freak in the best sense of the word. He’s mostly beaten his best rivals over his career and his raw numbers are greater than any others. He has a better claim of being the best ever than any other player.