Fire still burning, Novak Djokovic and GOAT debate move on to Paris

Novak Djokovic Australian Open

Novak Djokovic of Serbia kisses the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup trophy at Government House a day after his victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in the men’s singles final of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 30, 2019. 2023. (Photo by SAEED KHAN / AFP )

MELBOURNE – Winning Novak Djokovic paraded the Australian Open trophy around the gardens of Government House in Melbourne on Monday, his 10th title adding another hit in the plus column for those who think he He is the Greatest Man of All Time (GOAT).

That debate may never be resolved but if it were to be decided purely on the success of major championships, it would now move on to the French Open in the European spring with the tennis player. Serbian and Rafael Nadal share 22 titles.

While Melbourne Park’s blue court is certainly Djokovic’s domain, Roland Garros’ red clay court is dedicated to Spaniard Nadal, the other Open Era GOAT contender alongside the house. 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer.

Federer has now retired and congratulated Djokovic on Instagram – “Again, amazing effort!” – but Nadal has returned to Spain for treatment the latest in a string of injuries that have devastated his career.

The 36-year-old is confident he will recover from a hip flexion problem he suffered at the Australian Open in time to drag his battered body to Paris in May in a title-winning bid. 15th French Open tennis tournament.

And, although a hamstring problem has plagued him throughout the year’s first Grand Slam, Djokovic can’t help but doubt that he’ll be there to try for the No. 23 as well.

“I think there’s still a lot of passion in me for sport and competition and I think that’s what allows me to keep pushing myself to the limit,” he said on Monday.

“In training sessions, day after day after years of repeating the same routine, sometimes not very interesting.

“But I know that there is always a bigger goal and a guiding star, so to speak, and this trophy is one of those guiding stars, which is what I always strive to achieve. “

While the resilience of Djokovic and Nadal means men’s tennis can continue to enjoy the end of the most glorious golden era, women’s tennis continues with its first season trying to fill the void left by Serena Williams left.

The American tennis player, when fit, has dominated women’s football for the past two decades, winning 23 Grand Slam singles titles – a feat second only to Australian Margaret Court (24) for most of her career. residual.

Even if Djokovic’s opposition to a COVID-19 vaccine kept him out of the US Open for a second year in a row, Sunday’s championship helped him firmly move closer to the next record. that continent.

“I really don’t want to stop here,” he said after the final.

“I have no intention of stopping here. I feel great about my tennis. I know that when I feel good physically, mentally, I have a chance to win over anyone.

“I like my chances in the future.”


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