We are living in the era of GOATS, the era of the golden generation, the era of the “Big Three”.And while there has been a constant passing of batons between the three GOATS, for now, it seems that the prodigal son Novak Djokovic has surged ahead.
Novak Djokovic has been a name that has eternally been overshadowed by his more liked rivals in Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. From hostile crowds at the US Open to boos by his fellow players, from deeply probing press conferences to continuously created controversies, the Serbian sensation has been bruised, booed and berated.
But, Novak represents a champion. A champion who may not be as liked or admired but is nevertheless perhaps the greatest of greats. And that champion is just a day away from breaking Roger Federer’s long-standing record of most weeks as World number 1.
“Now I am going to focus mainly on the grand slams” says Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic will on Monday set a new landmark of 311 weeks as world number one, surpassing Roger Federer whose hold on a record-equalling 20 Grand Slam titles is now firmly in the Serb’s sights. The 33-year-old Djokovic, already the winner of 18 majors, has time on his side with Federer turning 40 in August. He is also a year younger than Rafael Nadal who also has 20 majors.
“Now that I’ve become the historic No.1, I’m relieved,” said Djokovic after sweeping to a ninth Australian Open last month which guaranteed his extended stay at the top.
“Now, I’m going to be able to focus mainly on the Grand Slams.“
Djokovic reclaimed the top ranking from Nadal in February 2020 and finished as year-end number one for the sixth time, tying the mark set by Pete Sampras.
Coincidentally, the day of Novak’s new record falls on March 8th, International Women’s day and the Serb took the opportunity to thank the amazing women who have been a part of his life.
“That’s right, I can break the record for March 8. If that happens, I will dedicate it to my mother and wife,” the 33-year-old had said in an earlier interview last year.
A look at Novak’s schedule for the coming year-
From Miami, where he has won six titles, Djokovic will head to Monaco for the Monte-Carlo Masters, running from April 11-18, before returning home to Belgrade for the ATP 250 Serbia Open.
The Tour is returning to Belgrade for the first time since 2012, and the Serbia Open will be held at Djokovic’s tennis center from April 19-25, which may well be his last tournament before the clay season.