Tennis: close race for Grand Slam record between “big three”

With his title at the Australian Open, Novak Djokovic is making the fight for the Grand Slam record ever more exciting. His ninth triumph at the “Happy Slam” in Melbourne is his 18th major title.

This means that the Serb only has two fewer Grand Slams on the plus side than the ex aequo at the top, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. At 33, Djokovic is firstly the youngest of the trio and secondly the least likely to be injured. At the age of 34, Nadal probably still has the next chance to take sole leadership a few years ahead of him and at his favorite tournament, the French Open.

For Federer, at almost 40 years of age, it is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve further victories at the highest tennis level. Because not only Nadal and Djokovic are hot for major victories, the next generation around Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev or Stefanos Tsitsipas makes the fight for the most important tennis titles more and more exciting.

Ivanisevic predicts a duel

For Djokovic coach Goran Ivanisevic it is clear that his protégé and Rafael Nadal will make the record among themselves. So he doesn’t have to lean far out of the window when he predicts that his protégé will overtake Federer.

“They surprise me every day. Rafa will definitely win another one, I hope not two. They still play better tennis,” explained Ivanisevic, who made it to number two in the tennis world rankings during his playing days.

Of course, even the general record currently held by Margaret Court with 24 titles would still be within reach. For Federer, after a year off and at almost 40, despite his exceptional talent, it will be extremely difficult. The Swiss superstar has not won a major since the Australian Open 2018.

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Djokovic in Australia is in a class of its own

Djokovic already indicated that he will concentrate even more on the majors (more info >>). In addition, he will now cure his abdominal muscle injury. “I did another MRI and the damage has increased compared to the first MRI,” he said after a smooth 7: 5.6: 2.6: 2 about Daniil Medvedev.

Other former tennis greats have also expressed their enthusiasm for Djokovic’s Melbourne appearance. “That was an incredible performance. It was also a strong statement towards the next generation, to us, the whole world. Novak is such a complete player,” said Mats Wilander as a Eurosport expert.

And ex-US Open winner Andy Roddick raved on Twitter: “Djoker is so good. There is no way you can attack him on the court. It’s like when you can’t beat a boxer and this boxer knocked out. Has power in both hands. “

Strong comeback after a mixed 2020

Djokovic was battered like a boxer in the past year: both with the organization of the Adria Tour, where players celebrated parties and also infected with the corona virus, and with the disqualification at the US Open after he accidentally helped a line judge hit a knocked ball away. In the run-up to the Australian Open, Djokovic had made himself unpopular for the players because of the quarantine regulations and his demand for relaxation.

Djokovic is used to constant media scolding, who in terms of popularity cannot keep up with Federer and Nadal despite all his visible efforts. “Of course it hurts. I have emotions and I don’t enjoy it when someone attacks me in the media. But I’ve developed a thick skin over the years,” said Djokovic. After his ninth victory in his “Rod Laver Arena living room”, the Serb was forgiving. He is just as powerful in Melbourne as Nadal was in Paris and Federer was at Wimbledon for many years.

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In addition to the further improvement opportunities for Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medwedew, Alexander Zverev and Co., it will be perhaps the most exciting question this year: What can Roger Federer achieve again after his long break? You can get a first impression of this in just under two weeks, when the Confederate returns on the ATP tour in Doha.

Men’s leaderboard Grand Slam title:

place Name nationality title Period still active
1. Roger Federer Switzerland 20 2003-2018 and
1. Rafael Nadal Spain 20 2005-2020 and
3. Novak Djokovic Serbia 18 2008-2021 and
4. Pete Sampras USA 14 1990-2002 No
5. Roy Emerson Australia 12 1961-1967 No
6. Björn Borg Sweden 11 1974-1981 No
6. Rod Laver Australia 11 1960-1969 No

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