Former six-time Grand Slam champion in doubles Sania Mirza says Novak Djokovic is "well respected" among players and added the numbers say the Serb is "the greatest player of all time." Djokovic owns a record 23 Grand Slam titles, while Nadal has 22 and Federer finished his career with 20.
Although Djokovic has the most Grand Slams and has had more success than Nadal and Federer, the Serb has never been liked or loved as much as the two other Big Three members. But Mirza - who concluded her great career in Dubai earlier this year - says players actually respect Djokovic a lot and it's impressive that the Serb managed to surpass Nadal and Federer.
"I do not know if he is misunderstood on the circuit; he is quite liked actually on the tour. Everybody has a lot of respect for him, as they should, but I think because it has been a Rafa-Roger rivalry, everyone spoke about him as the third man who kind of came in.
Who would have thought he would surpass everybody one day," Mirza told Neeru Bhatia of The Week.
Mirza: Djokovic is the GOAT
Djokovic, who turned 36 in May, collected a historic 23rd Grand Slam title at the French Open. At Wimbledon, Djokovic made the final before losing to Carlos Alcaraz in five sets.
"The debate will continue but I definitely think that, given the way Novak is playing physically, he has probably become the greatest ever male player if you look at the numbers. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal forced each other to become the best and they credit each other, and also Novak, for pushing them to their limits," Mirza said.
After failing to win Wimbledon, Djokovic turns his focus on the North American hard court swing and the upcoming US Open. After missing last year's US Open, Djokovic is set to return to New York for the final Grand Slam of the season. At Flushing Meadows, Djokovic will try to win his third Grand Slam of the year and 24th overall.
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