‘If Novak Djokovic continues for 2-3 years, he could overwhelm Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’

Ewan West
Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer
Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer at the Laver Cup

Tennis commentator Guido Monaco has warned Novak Djokovic “runs the risk of not only overtaking but even overwhelming” Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal if he continues to perform at this level.

Monaco, a former Italian player, feels Djokovic “wants to put even more space” between himself and Federer and Nadal to convince “even the most reticent admirers” of his great rivals he is the greatest.

Djokovic overcame third-ranked Daniil Medvedev in straight sets in the US Open final in September to win his 24th Grand Slam title and third Major crown in an outstanding 2023 season.

The world No 1 has now three Grand Slam tournaments in a season four times in his remarkable career, following stellar years in 2011, 2015 an 2021.

The Serbian holds two more Major titles than Nadal – who sits second on the all-time men’s list with 22. Federer, who retired last year, is in third place on 20 Majors.

The 36-year-old has now won 12 Grand Slam titles in his 30s and has a stunning 12-3 record in Major championship matches since turning 30.

Speaking on an episode of TennisMania as reported by OA Sport, Monaco discussed the incredible achievements of Djokovic after his triumph at last week’s Paris Masters.

“He has this thing inside that he always had to prove more than the others, because he arrived later and the others were already idols. He has a different story, he comes from another place in the world. You always have to put yourself in other people’s shoes,” said the Italian.

“He has an ability to find motivation from many things and, despite having completed the comeback by overtaking his rivals, he wants to put even more space between himself and them to convince even the most reticent admirers of Federer and Nadal that he is the strongest.

“Some will never admit it and they won’t be able to get everyone to agree, but in my opinion there is no longer any doubt that on a sporting level, Djokovic is the greatest of all time.”

Monaco also suggested that, while numbers are not the only factor to consider when determining sporting greatness, they are the most significant.

“It’s easy to say that sporting results aren’t everything. Of course, there is also elegance, behaviour, the example you can give, how much charity you do, what image you give of the athlete, how much you have done for tennis and much more, but sports titles are those for which these phenomena are [second to],” he continued.

“We must give due weight to these results. If it goes on like this for 2-3 years, he runs the risk of not only overtaking but even overwhelming Federer and Nadal.”

Djokovic downed Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-3 in the final of the Paris Masters on Sunday to claim a record-extending seventh title at the Masters 1000 event.

The world No 1 is next set to feature at the ATP Finals in Turin next week, where he is the defending champion and seeking a record seventh title.

READ MORE: Novak Djokovic sends warning to ATP Finals rivals – ‘I haven’t lost a match since the Wimbledon final’