Regardless of the outcome of the upcoming US Open, many believe that Novak Djokovic can already be considered the best tennis player of any era. Thanks to an extraordinary first part of 2021, the world number 1 has equaled his eternal rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to reach 20 Slams, in addition to having already beaten the all-time record of weeks at the top of the ATP ranking (tearing it just to the Swiss).
In case of triumph in New York, the Serbian champion would realize the 'Calendar Grand Slam' writing yet another page in tennis history. Only Rod Laver had succeeded in such a feat in the Open Era 52 years ago. With Roger and Rafa absent due to injury, Nole will have to pay particular attention to Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev, while Stefanos Tsitsipas has not yet fully recovered from the hoax at Roland Garros.
Interviewed by the 'Tennis365' portal, former ATP number 4 Tim Henman explained how Djokovic has no chance of overtaking Federer in terms of popularity. The Basel legend has been voted fan favorite player for 18 consecutive years.
Henman reflects on Novak Djokovic
“There are two different conversations to be had about the greatest player, the best player, that comes down to a numbers game and Novak Djokovic will win that,” Tim Henman told the Tennis365 website.
“If you are talking about impact and popularity, it is a one-horse race and there is no doubt that Roger Federer is the most popular player that has ever played our sport. But you have to say if Novak goes to 21 and Federer and Nadal are on 20, you would have to say Djokovic is leading that debate over who is the greatest, but throw in a Calendar Grand Slam and it would elevate him to a different level.
He would then be the best male player of all time”. In 2012, the 34-year-old signed with Uniqlo on a five-year contract. Following the end of the term, Lacoste snapped up Djokovic as their global brand ambassador on a five-year deal.
Although a year remains for the expiration of the deal, the French clothing company revealed they added three more years to their partnership. On social media, Lacoste announced the extension with a few words. They wrote, “Teammates since 2017, Lacoste and @DjokerNole are proud to announce their partnership has been extended until 2025.
The exceptional athlete and men’s tennis world #1 shares common values with the French Crocodile: audacity, commitment and elegance.”