What Novak Djokovic’s Victory Means For the GOAT Debate With Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer?

Novak Djokovic achieved the historic milestone of clinching a 20th Grand Slam title as he lifted a record 6th trophy at the 2021 Wimbledon Championships. Djokovic defeated Italy’s, Matteo Berrettini, in a thrilling four-set final and has further intensified the ‘Greatest of all time’ debate.

With the incredible victory, the Serbian has equaled the Grand Slam tally of his arch-rival’s, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Standing at 17 Grand Slam titles at the beginning of the season, Djokovic has won three consecutive major championships in exquisite fashion and now eyes a Calendar Grand Slam at the 2021 US Open.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 11, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates with the trophy after winning his final match against Italy’s Matteo Berrettini REUTERS/Toby Melville

Novak Djokovic ignites the GOAT debate

Djokovic’s triumph at the All England Club has made an enormous impact on the GOAT debate, which has built up like raging fire over the years. Presently, most of the records seem stacked in Djokovic’s favor.

Last year, after clinching the Western and Southern Open, he became the only player in history to win all the nine ATP Masters 1000 twice. In fact, in March this year, Djokovic overcame Federer’s record of spending the most number of weeks as the No.1 ranked player in the world.

However, when it comes to overall singles career titles, Djokovic has won 85 compared to Nadal’s 88 and the Swiss Maestro’s 103 titles. Coming to the quadrennial Olympics, Nadal is the only player out of the Big-3 to have achieved a singles gold medal.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 11, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic shakes hands with Spain’s Rafael Nadal after winning their semi final match REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

But with the Tokyo Olympics starting in a few weeks’ time, Djokovic has a gigantic opportunity to win an Olympic gold medal and all four Grand Slam in the same year, a feat no player has achieved in history.

In addition, the resilient Serbian has an upper hand in his head-to-head record against both his arch-nemesis. Having played a whopping 58 matches against Nadal, Djokovic leads 30-28. On the other hand, in his 50 encounters against Federer, Djokovic leads 27-23.

As Federer turns 40 in a month, the odds of him adding another Grand Slam to his arsenal appear increasingly tough. With the Spaniard aiming to prolong his career and tweaking his schedule, he could certainly continue for a couple of years. However, Djokovic, being the youngest of the Big-3 has time on his side to surpass both his rivals.

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