After two setbacks at the last year's US Open and Roland Garros, Novak Djokovic was eager to improve his Major tally in 2021 and challenge Nadal and Federer like never before. Standing three Major crowns behind his closest rivals, the Serb matched them at Wimbledon and had a massive chance to become the first player with 21 Major trophies in New York.
Despite not playing at his best, Djokovic reached the final and moved a win away from a calendar Grand Slam and most probably the GOAT status. For Alexander Zverev, Novak is already the most outstanding player in history, praising Djokovic after their thrilling semi-final duel that went down to the wire.
Federer and Nadal will not compete in the rest of the season, struggling with injuries and skipping the rest of 2021 and hoping for a better run in 2022. On the other hand, Novak's only goal is to pass Roger and Rafa, and he should do that in 2022 if he keeps the current level.
In arguably the most significant encounter of his career, Novak experienced a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 loss in the US Open final to world no. 2 Daniil Medvedev, unable to produce his best tennis and cracking under enormous pressure to hand the first Major crown to Daniil.
Alexander Zverev believes that Novak Djokovic is the greatest player ever.
"Novak is chasing history, and that's great for the sport. Nobody thought anybody would do it again after Rod Laver, and now Novak has a chance to secure another record, as he did with the others.
If you look at the stats, Novak is the greatest player of all time. He is alone there, with most weeks as world no. 1, most Masters 1000 titles and almost certainly most Majors when they all finish their careers. Novak has a chance to win all four Major titles within the season, and you can not compete with that.
Novak is world no. 1 for a reason; he plays his best tennis when he needs to, unlike many others. We played a 55-shot rally on a set point, and I had to fire a risky forehand winner to win it; that says it all. Mentally, Novak is the strongest player in history, and I would love to play important points against anyone but him," Alexander Zverev said.