‘Novak Djokovic has separated himself from everybody based on the eye test and numbers’

Novak Djokovic win the 2023 ATP Finals

Rick Macci has asserted that Novak Djokovic has separated himself from everybody including Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, while warning the Serbian is “not done yet.”

The American, a legendary tennis coach, declared that Djokovic is the greatest player of all time based on both “the eyeball test” and the numbers.

Djokovic broke a number of significant tennis records during a historic 2023 season in which he won seven titles and 56 of the 63 matches he played.

The 36-year-old won three of the four Grand Slam titles in a year for the fourth time in his career – after 2011, 2015 and 2021 –  a record in men’s tennis. He was also a runner-up at Wimbledon, making this the third season following 2015 and 2021 when he reached all four Major finals and won three.

The Serbian’s victory at the 2023 US Open in September – where he downed Daniil Medvedev in a straight-set final – was a record-extending 24th men’s Grand Slam title, having surpassed Nadal’s tally of 22 with his French Open triumph.

Djokovic also secured a record-extending eighth finish as the ATP year-end No 1 en route to claiming a seventh ATP Finals title to surpass Federer for the most season-ending championships crowns.

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Speaking in an interview with Tennis Infinity, Macci explained why he considers Djokovic to be the best player to ever hold a racket and lauded the hunger the world No 1 possesses.

“In my opinion, I judge everything with the eyeball test, and then the numbers. The numbers don’t lie, and my eyes don’t lie because I’ve done this for a long time,” the 68-year-old said.

“Nothing against [Roger] Federer and [Rafael] Nadal, I mean they’re great champions and they’re right in there, but he’s separated himself. So am I ready to proclaim Djokovic the GOAT? Absolutely.

“He separated himself from everybody. And he’s not done yet. And I think that’s what impresses everybody, it’s the hunger and he still wants to go out there and win titles.

“He’s not going undefeated, but you got to beat him in 3 out of 5 sets, I think [it] is a slippery slope for anybody. Just because you’re getting older, that’s a number. It’s how you feel and how you take care of your body.”

Macci has worked with five players who achieved the world No 1 ranking in their careers: Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, Jennifer Capriati and Andy Roddick. He also coached WTA Major champions Mary Pierce, Anastasia Myskina and Sofia Kenin.

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