Juan Martin del Potro tells how Novak Djokovic can seal GOAT debate once and for all

Del Potro asked about the GOAT debate and if Djokovic has done enough to be definitively declared the GOAT.

by Dzevad Mesic
Juan Martin del Potro tells how Novak Djokovic can seal GOAT debate once and for all
© Getty Images Sport - Matthew Stockman

Juan Martin del Potro thinks Novak Djokovic can shut up even the biggest Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal supporters if he wins a couple more Grand Slams as the Argentinian tennis legend believes no one would argue if the Serb is the greatest of all time if he added more Slam success to his name.

After being behind Federer and Nadal in the Grand Slam race for the majority of his career, 36-year-old Djokovic officially became the sole owner of the Slam record for the first time last year. Now, Djokovic has 24 Grand Slams and he is one Slam away from becoming the first player in tennis history man or woman to win 25 Majors. 

On the other side, Nadal comes at No. 2 with 22 Grand Slams while Federer concluded his career with 20 Majors. 

Once Djokovic sealed his 24th Grand Slam at the 2023 US Open and it became clear that Nadal's chances of winning another Slam would be slim, some were ready to declare the Serb the GOAT. This year, Nadal returned to action but he has appeared in just one tournament and he is again dealing with injury issues. 

While Federer can't catch Djokovic's record and Nadal doing that seems to be impossible, some are still refusing to declare Djokovic the GOAT and are making cases for the Swiss and the Spaniard to still be included in the GOAT conversation. On the other side, there is also a good number of people believing that the Serb has nothing to prove more and that he is undoubtedly the GOAT. 

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Del Potro on how Djokovic can wrap up the GOAT debate once and for all

Del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion, made a guest appearance at this year's Miami Open. There, former two-time Miami semifinalist del Potro was caught by journalist Danny Miche, who asked him to give his take on the GOAT debate. 

“Each one was the best in history at different times," del Potro told Danny Miche in Spanish at the Miami Open.

"In the period from 2006 to 2009 Roger was unbeatable, but if you went to clay there Rafa was the best.

“Novak still has a long way to go, he won more titles than them and it is still being discussed. I believe that if he wins a couple more Grand Slams, there will no longer be a discussion no matter how many Roger and Rafa fans there are.”

Juan Martin del Potro and Novak Djokovic
Juan Martin del Potro and Novak Djokovic© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Are Djokovic's Grand Slam days over?

After absolutely dominating the Grand Slam scene last year, Djokovic came to this year's Australian Open as the absolute No. 1 favorite for the title as many expected the Serb to capture a historic 25th Grand Slam title at the Major where he has had the most success. But at Melbourne Park, the world No. 1 wasn't really looking convincing and it all culminated when Jannik Sinner trashed him in the semifinal 6-1 6-2 6-7 (6) 6-3.

Throughout his career, Djokovic has had a reputation of delivering his absolute best in the deepest Slam stages. But against Sinner, the 24-time Grand Slam champion looked helpless at times as Sinner was the one who was pretty much controlling everything.

After such a loss, the 36-year-old received one pretty interesting question as he was asked if he was "finally starting to play at your own age." Djokovic initially smiled at the question but then underlined that he will do everything to bounce back and the loss to Sinner doesn't necessarily mean that he was done. 

"Let's see (smiling). Don't know. I still have high hopes, you know, for other slams, Olympics, and whatever tournaments that I'll play. It's just the beginning of the season," Djokovic said after his Australian Open semifinal loss," Djokovic said. 

"It's not the feeling that I'm used to. I mean, it kind of has been incredibly satisfying for me, you know, to start off most of my seasons with a Grand Slam win and never lost in semis or finals of Australian Open.

"So this time it's a bit different, but it is what it is. Let's see. I don't know. This tournament hasn't been, as I said, up to my standard or criteria or the level that I would normally play or expect myself to play, but doesn't necessarily mean that it's beginning of the end, you know, as some people like to call it.

"Yeah, let's see what happens in the rest of the season."

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic© Getty Images Sport - Graham Denholm

Meanwhile, Djokovic has made a major change ahead of the start of the clay season and the French Open. On Wednesday, the world No. 1 announced that he and his coach of five years Goran Ivanisevic were parting ways. 

It will be interesting to see who will be sitting in Djokovic's box when the time comes for the French Open. 

Juan Martin Del Potro Novak Djokovic