Google Down the Line!: Can Djokovic become one of the best ever?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Can Djokovic become one of the best ever?

By Mark Hodgson

The ATP tennis season comes to an end in London this week at the ATP World Tour Finals and it got me thinking about the season just gone. There is only one name that springs to mind - Novak Djokovic. The world number one has had an exceptional season, winning three of the four majors, winning a record-breaking five ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments and earning an unprecedented amount of prize money. But one question still remains: Can Novak Djokovic become of the best players ever?

This is not to say that he hasn’t already achieved great things in the game of tennis. This year he became only the sixth male tennis player to win three slams in one season. And just by becoming world number one he has played himself into tennis history. But ultimately, players will be judged on how many majors they win in their careers and Djokovic has some way to go to be up there with the best.

The Serbian has won four slams to date, and would have to win four more to move into the top ten, alongside players such as Andre Agassi and Jimmy Connors. To move into the top five he would have to win seven more titles, taking him level with Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver. So the real question is how many more grand slams can he win? And I think the answer is quite a lot if he can keep showing the sort of form he has shown this season. After all, he has only lost one grand slam match all season. And he has showed if he gets ahead in a match he usually wins, only losing once after taking the first set.

And there is a lot going for Djokovic which suggests he could win many more major titles. He is only 24. This is younger than both Nadal and Federer, so he has a good five or six years ahead of him, meaning there’s plenty of time to win tournaments. Equally, so far he has managed to keep himself relatively fit during his career. This will surely give him an advantage over his rivals. Nadal has had trouble with his knees during his career and this has impacted on his game. It has been affecting him since 2007 and forced him to miss Wimbledon in 2009. Similarly, Roger Federer isn’t getting any younger and he surely won’t be able to carry on playing at the top level for many more years. He seems to have already slipped behind the top three slightly. His recent Swiss Indoors title was the first tournament he has won in 10 months. Although, in the few games Djokovic has lost this season, injury has been a factor in most. This could be due to playing so many games, a knock from winning so many matches.

Physically, Djokovic has the attributes to be one of the best players ever and to win many more majors. The only obstacles are mental. He admitted himself that the reason for his improvement is him being more aggressive and taking a different approach to finals and semi-finals. This change has worked amazingly for Djokovic. If he can continue to maintain his current mind set, I think, he is destined to be one of the best ever.

Mark Hodgson is a Sports Journalism student at the University of Sunderland and reads news on Spark fm. He's a big Middlesbrough FC fan and enjoys writing, especially about sport. You can follow him on Twitter @mrmarkhodgson.



  1. Djokovic is the best tennis player of all time!


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