Jimmy Connors delivers trademark tribute to Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic Australia Open

One of the GOATs of yesteryear, Jimmy Connors, has expressed his admiration for Novak Djokovic in a way only the bombastic American could.

A flamboyant if troubled star, Connors would pave the way for tennis to become among the highest-paying professional sports in the world.

Connors’ 109 tour-level titles make him the holder of one of the records that Djokovic will be out to break in the next few years.

He is most impressed with the seemingly unflappable nature of the current world No 1.

“I want to say this, the guy is one f***ing great tennis player, right?” Connors said on the latest episode if his ‘Advantage Connors’ podcast as per Eurosport.

“He is not afraid to go out there and play the game, his game. Win or lose. He is not afraid to put it on the line. He knows he has got a bullseye on his back. Even more now.

“He is not afraid against all these young guys, who had some pretty good tournaments. But he is not afraid of that. He plays the game, he is not afraid to mix it up.

“He is not afraid to take the ball early, he is not afraid to get 20 balls to win a point. He is not afraid to figure out a way to win – and, you know, to me, I like seeing that.”

Connors believes that it has been the three-way rivalry between Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer has elevated the sport.

“Rivalries are so great,” Connors said. “That’s why people show up to watch the game, watch the match, and watch the excitement.

“Sometimes you have got to find a reason, find a reason to dig deeper and come out on top and win.

“So what is that? Where do you find that? What do you dig into to go down into your guts? Sometimes you got to find something that just burns you to the ground to come out on top.”

Djokovic is now heavily favoured to end up with more Grand Slams than not only Federer and Nadal but any other player, male or female.

He won his tenth Australian Open last month and his ability on clay make him a strong contender for the next Grand Slam title up for grabs at Roland Garros.

It is still unclear if Djokovic will be allowed to travel to the United States by the time the fourth Grand Slam of 2023 rolls around, however the latest indications are that the entry requirements will be relaxed by August.

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