Tennis GOAT Novak Djokovic improves an extraordinary milestone

By reaching the Wimbledon semifinals after Alex De Minaur's withdrawal, the Serb improves an incredible record

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Tennis GOAT Novak Djokovic improves an extraordinary milestone
© Julian Finney / Staff Getty Images Sport

A month ago, it seemed impossible that Novak Djokovic would participate in Wimbledon; thirty days later, the Serbian champion has already reached the London Major semifinals, updating his statistics with a new extraordinary milestone.
At the Championships, in which he is participating after surgery to the meniscus of his right knee, the Serb reached a Slam semifinal for the 48th time. Djokovic has further distanced the Swiss legend Roger Federer, at 46 semifinals, and Spanish champion Rafael Nadal, at 38 semis.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic© Mike Hewitt / Staff Getty Images Sport
 

Nole improved this record that already belonged to him due to the withdrawal of Alex De Minaur. The Australian tennis player did not recover in time to play the quarterfinal with Djokovic and has thus announced his withdrawal from the tournament. The Serbian will face the winner of the match between Italian Lorenzo Musetti and American tennis player Taylor Fritz in the semifinals. De Minaur was injured during the match point of the 4th round against Arthur Fils and was unable to recover. The first to reveal the news was journalist Craig Gabriel who spoke to John Stanley and the two confirmed everything.

Alex de Minaur, Wimbledon 2024
Alex de Minaur, Wimbledon 2024© Sean M. Haffey / Staff - Getty Images Sport
 

"I feel pretty good. I have completed my post-match recovery and I am confident that I will feel great. I think that over the years my confidence has grown more and more. I am happy to continue to move forward at Wimbledon and I am looking forward to the next challenge. It does not matter who I play, I consider all matches 50/50. Maybe in the past I did not have that mentality. I do not think I need to say much about Novak at Wimbledon, where he achieved glory for many years. It will be a battle, but it is the type of battle I want to play," reassured De Minaur at the press conference after qualifying for the quarterfinals, but then, evidently, the Australian was unable to recover in time from the match against Nole.

At a press conference after his victory over Holger Rune, Djokovic revealed when he realized he could overcome his rivals:

"The first Major is always special. But it took me three years to win the second, I struggled a lot to understand what I needed to beat in particular Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal who were dominating the Tour. They were winning all the Slams. I learned to do it the hard way through these rivalries with those two. There were key moments in my career, like winning the Davis Cup for my country. Bringing the first Davis Cup to Serbia was special. After that I had one of the best - if not the best - seasons of my career and won three Slams. That's when I became a better player. I started to believe that I deserved to be at the top and that I could do better than Federer and Nadal.

There are different levels of achievement in our sport. The most important is understanding how to win a Slam, then how to become number one and then how to win more than one Slam. Many players fail to achieve these goals. I am grateful to be in this position and proud of everything I have achieved. I know how difficult it is. Zverev, for example, is one of those players who deserves to win a Slam. He came very close at the US Open against Dominic Thiem and this year he lost in the fifth to Carlos Alcaraz. It is not easy: the more time passes, the more you think about it. The pressure increases and you start to have doubts," he said.

At the same press conference, Djokovic then wanted to reiterate his position on some disrespectful behavior adopted by the crowd towards him during the match with Rune.

"I don't know if Wimbledon should take action. I don't know what they can really do about it. In those particular moments, the crowd has paid for the ticket, they have the right to be there and cheer however they want. How they choose to behave or support a player is up to them. We can think that maybe an umpire or whoever could intervene at certain moments and calm the crowd down. But there's not much you can do, you can't throw out a part of the entire stadium because they are acting disrespectfully. It's part of the sport. It's one of the reasons why we are here, why the tournament is so important historically, why we are recognized worldwide as tennis players. It's because of the fans for the interest they show in watching tennis matches, in paying for tickets. I respect that. I try to recognize all the true tennis fans who really respect the players. Obviously they decide who they support and cheer for. It's completely understandable. They have the freedom to choose who they support during a match, but if someone crosses the line, I react," he explained.

Novak Djokovic Wimbledon Alex De Minaur
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