'I would see Novak Djokovic at No. 1', says ATP legend

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'I would see Novak Djokovic at No. 1', says ATP legend

2021 was a special year for Novak Djokovic, allowing him to close the gap that separated him from Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the all-time Grand Slam standings. The number 1 in the world won the first three majors of the season, before reaching the final also at the US Open.

Stuck in tension and physically exhausted, the Serbian had to surrender to a flawless Daniil Medvedev at Arthur Ashe Stadium. The 34-year-old from Belgrade returned to the field a couple of months later in Paris-Bercy, where he posted the 37th Masters 1000 of his career.

In addition, Nole ended the season at ATP number 1 for the seventh time ever (knocking out his idol Pete Sampras). The booty of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal is decidedly thinner, both limited by a series of physical problems.

The Swiss played just 13 official matches in 2021, while the Spaniard took part in just seven official tournaments (winning two trophies). Speaking at Eurosport, Boris Becker addressed the issue of the GOAT and beyond.

Boris Becker on the GOAT debate

"Numbers just don't lie.

As a tennis player, the number of weeks at No 1 is very important. Novak Djokovic is simply way ahead there. If all three of them stopped playing tennis today, I would see Novak at No. 1," said Boris Becker. Boris emphasized that Federer has already proved his critics wrong on many occasions in the past by making an incredible return to the court.

However, he also believes that his comeback won't be that "easy" this time as tennis is "changing and getting faster" day by day. "Roger has already managed a lot of things where we said that is not possible at all.

That's why I wouldn't rule it out. It won't be easy, tennis is changing and getting faster. At some point it will no longer be easy," said Becker. Novak Djokovic had a phenomenal 2021 season. The Serbinator finished the year as World No.

1 for a record seventh time in a row. Moreover, he also won 3 out of 4 Grand Slams of the year. Recently, in an interview with Russian news outlet K1 Televizija, Novak’s father, Srdjan Djokovic, shed some more light on the matter.

“They (Tennis Australia) have to decide whether they will let Novak in,” Srdjan said. “If they decide (to not let Novak play), they have the stand behind their decision”. It seems likely that Novak Djokovic might miss out on contesting for his 21st Grand Slam.

In fact, he could also be missing out on furthering his Australian Open record to 10 titles. “He has won the Australian Open nine times, he now wants to play — but they have to permit him to play,” his father explained.