Novak Djokovic’s Grand Slam hopes analysed as tennis pro slams GOAT debate with Nadal | Tennis | Sport
Novak Djokovic was able to equal Rafael Nadal’s Grand Slam record with his victory at the Australian Open last week, matching his longtime rival with 22 men’s singles titles apiece. This leaves the GOAT debate as tense as ever with fans hoping the pair can challenge for the record at Roland Garros later this year. But a former pro disagrees with the excitement, saying comparing the two doesn’t make sense. Alex Corretja backed Djokovic to win the most Majors but didn’t think it really mattered.
Djokovic continued his quest to make tennis history at the Australian Open by becoming the first player to win a 10th title in Melbourne and equal Nadal’s record of 22 Majors in total. The world No. 1 has made no secret that he hopes to end his career with the most Grand Slam titles in history, and a former pro has now backed Djokovic to do just that.
But former world number 2 Corretja also slammed the Grand Slam race by saying it didn’t make sense to compare Djokovic’s Majors to Nadal’s in the GOAT debate. “If we think with our heads, the feeling is that Djokovic has a bit more headroom,” the retired Spanish pro told Cadena SER.
“His injuries have been minor in recent years, while Nadal, due to his way of playing and giving everything in every game, has affected him a little more. Everything indicates that Djokovic has more margin and can overtake him.
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“Tennis is a very patient sport and you have to be very methodical and very disciplined. Today our society is moving towards the opposite, towards speed and immediacy. Finding someone who, in the very modern age we live in, is so consistent to maintain that regularity for so many months and for so many years is next to impossible. Because society makes you want everything now.
Referring to the next generation of players, he continued: “When you see Alcaraz or Sinner, they are so consistent and serious that it’s not usual. Why don’t many tennis players explode? Because they play well for an hour and a half or two hours, and in tennis it takes four hours to Grand Slams and it takes weeks and months of training beforehand. I consider it very difficult to maintain the dedication and the level that Federer, Nadal and Djokovic had. Tennis players today will play at a high level for 5-8 years, but 20 years…I see that as impossible.