Novak Djokovic gives perfect response to whether he is the greatest player ever

Djokovic gave three potential answers to the GOAT question but one was his favorite.
Paul Kane/GettyImages

There is no clear answer to who the greatest men's player in tennis history is. For those who think Novak Djokovic is, the easy part is to point out his raw statistics that are unmatched by any other player. 24 Grand Slams and 40 Masters 1000 titles might not ever be reached, or if they are, not for a very long time.

Partly because those numbers do not represent temporary greatness but sustained excellence over a decade-plus. Djokovic's closest competition in Grand Slams wins is Rafael Nadal (22) and Roger Federer (20). Some point out how good Nadal was for so long and say he is the best, but that argument seems moot when compared to Djokovic because Djokovic has been as great, if not better, for just as long.

Novak Djokovic also has seven ATP Finals wins, one more than second-best Federer. Djokovic also has spent far more weeks ranked No. 1 than any other player. He has 406 weeks atop the rankings (and counting) and next-best is Federer with 310. The difference between Djokovic and Federer could end up being at least two full years being ranked No. 1.

Novak Djokovic answers GOAT question three different ways

Federer (237) has spent more consecutive weeks at No. 1 than Djokovic, however. But of the top 15 consecutive weeks at No. 1, Djokovic is on the list four different times. No other player has more than two of the longest streaks.

But does Novak Djokovic think he is the best ever? Or does he at least openly voice the opinion he thinks he is? No, according to a recent interview he did with L'Equipe.

Djokovic, in fact, likely gave the best answer of anyone ever when asked if they thought they were the greatest at what they did:

"We can suggest three answers. The first: I am the best. If we think that, some will say: ‘he is arrogant! He does not respect the others’. The second answer is to say: I don't think I'm the greatest, showing off that I’m totally humble, which is possible. And the third: I am who I am, I am proud of what I have accomplished, but I respect other eras and all opinions and I leave the GOAT debate to the others. The third is my answer"

Novak Djokovic

That all seems fair too and Djokovic is aware of how he would be perceived with every possible answer. Some already see Djokovic as arrogant and some don't think Djokovic is capable of truly being humble. But no matter. Novak Djokovic is very likely the best men's tennis player ever and the statistics back that up.

Read more from Lob and Smash