The GOAT race between Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic has captured the attention of fans in recent years. The Big 3 broke record after record over the course of their respective careers, which prompted pundits and insiders to argue over the title of best ever.
The Swiss and the Spaniard are currently paired at 20 Grand Slams, after the 34-year-old Majorcan won his umpteenth Roland Garros last October. The world number 1 is instead stopped at 17 Majors, with the great regret constituted by the disqualification from the US Open for a shot given to a line judge.
However, the Serbian has a very good chance of breaking the all-time record of weeks at the top of the ATP rankings. Nole has already equaled Pete Sampras' record by finishing at the top for the sixth season of his career.
Todd Martin, a two-time Grand Slam finalist and former Djokovic coach, believes Novak deserves to be given higher consideration by the public.
Todd Martin on Novak Djokovic's skills
"One of the beauties of life is that life is not fair," said Todd Martin.
"Novak Djokovic is the third wheel from a public adoration standpoint. But his achievements have proved that he is no third wheel from a capability standpoint." Martin joined hands with Novak Djokovic in 2008, but was not a long-term member of his coaching team.
His short stint was enough to convince Martin about the Serb's mental strength though. "Having worked with him, when he is focused he has that ‘I’m going through a brick wall’ mentality," said Martin.
The American claimed that the World No. 1's greatest strength is that he does not have to be at his best to win, because he is a 'fighter' who always relishes a challenge. "Now he is not always as focused, but when he is and we have seen this for long stretches, he doesn’t have to play great," Martin said.
"He is that much of a fighter and thrives on it." If he wins the title in Melbourne this year, it would extend his record tally at the Slam to 10 and bring him within two Majors of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic is also all but guaranteed to eclipse Federer's record of most weeks at No. 1 by March. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is currently in Adelaide in Australia. The Serb along with other big names such as Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams will be involved in the one-day event before all of them head to Melbourne for the first major of the new season.
As it’s well known, players are being in isolation due to the quarantine protocols. However, certain players are exempted from these rules. The players headlining the event in Adelaide will be excluded from the COVID-19 regulations. Upon hearing this latest development, Novak put forward a set of proposals before Tennis Australia.