'Djokovic made history while playing alongside Federer and Nadal', says former No. 1

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'Djokovic made history while playing alongside Federer and Nadal', says former No. 1

Novak Djokovic played a very good 2020, which allowed him to forfeit his 17th Grand Slam by winning the Australian Open and to strengthen his leadership in the world ranking. The Serbian phenomenon expected something more at the US Open and Roland Garros, with the resounding disqualification in New York destined to remain etched in the history of this very strange 2020.

In Paris Nole could do very little against an extraordinary Rafael Nadal, who gave him left just seven games in the final and won his 13th title in the French capital. The world number 1 chose to compete in the ATP 500 in Vienna instead of the Masters 1000 in Paris-Bercy, having the great chance to further fuel his first in the standings by lifting the trophy in Austria.

Djokovic has admitted that one of his goals is to record weeks at the top of the ATP rankings, as he prepares to finish the season in first place for the sixth time in his career (equaling Pete Sampras). According to Jim Courier, this achievement by Novak is too often underestimated.

Courier on Novak Djokovic

“When evaluating the all-time greats, there can be a tendency to overvalue singles majors won,” Jim Courier said. “Weeks at number one, as well as year-end number one finishes, are also very significant aspects of evaluating all-time greats from my perspective”.

Novak Djokovic will equal the record set by Pete Sampras of six year-end world number ones if he secures it this year. The American did it consecutively, which Djokovic won’t, but there is greater context to explore, says Courier.

“Pete’s six consecutive years is incredible and required not only supreme skill but also physical and mental consistency,” Courier says. “Novak’s ability to carve out his own history while playing alongside Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal is every bit as difficult and hard to comprehend as Pete’s six years in a row.

I think he can be number 1 for much longer if he stays focused and healthy. There are only two things that seem likely to prevent him from adding more weeks and years at number one: his health and Rafael Nadal. There’s no doubt that Novak has been the dominant force in men’s tennis again this season.

The numbers don’t lie”. Djokovic elected to take a wildcard for the tournament in order to secure the year-end world number one. While he has gone to Austria to try and take Thiem’s title, though, he has brought an important item with him in his luggage.

“[Novak Djokovic] had my prize money check from Belgrade (Adria Tour) in his baggage,” Thiem wrote on his website. “I will donate the entire money to the St. Anna Children’s Hospital and good friend of mine”.