Roger Federer's coach Ivan Ljubicic described Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic's achievements as "unreal." Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are all tied at 20 Grand Slams each. This year, Djokovic overtook Federer for most weeks spent as world No.
1. "What the Big 3 have done is unreal," Ljubicic declared. Dominic Thiem, 28, captured his maiden Grand Slam title at last year's US Open, while 25-year-old Daniil Medvedev won his first Major at this past US Open.
"Once they retire, we will see different Grand Slam winners like happened when Sampras and Agassi stopped playing," Ljubicic said.
Ljubicic suspects Djokovic could skip the rest of 2021
“It will be interesting in the next big tournaments to see if the Big Three will win titles again or if everyone will stop at 20 Grand Slams.
I think they will remain competitive but we will have to see if they are able to win in five sets against the young players who already stand out like Berrettini, Zverev, Medvedev, Tsitsipas, Rublev. I would love to see Djokovic at Paris-Bercy and the ATP Finals in Turin, but I wouldn't be surprised if he decides not to play for the rest of the season," Ljubicic said.
The chances of not seeing Djokovic anymore in 2021 are realistic. "Let me tell you – I have no plan, absolutely nothing,” Djokovic said. “I don’t know if I’m going to play anything, anywhere… I’m just here in New York right now”.
After losing the US Open final, Djokovic admitted Medvedev was the better player. “I think that I really tried to do everything in my power to prepare in the best possible way, to bring myself to the optimal state of body, mind, and spirit,” the Serb added.
“I really don’t know what I would change, I really did my best… I simply played against a better player – who had more enthusiasm and energy”.