‘Novak Djokovic looks like he could play for another 20 years’, says tennis legend

Novak Djokovic Paris Bercy

Tennis great Martina Navratilova declared that Novak Djokovic “looks like he could play for another 20 years” and feels the Serb’s rivalry with Carlos Alcaraz is important.

The 18-time Grand Slam singles champion is enjoying watching the “clash of generations” between Djokovic and Alcaraz and appreciates the respect the pair have for each other.

Despite turning 36 in May, Djokovic is showing no signs of slowing down and continues to hit remarkable heights at an age by which many players have retired or faded.

The world No 1 won a men’s record-extending 24th Grand Slam title with his victory over Daniil Medvedev in the final of the 2023 US Open in September.

The great Serbian triumphed at three of the four Major tournaments this year, while he also lost in five thrilling sets to Alcaraz in the Wimbledon final. He has now won 12 Major titles in his 30s and has a remarkable 12-3 record in Grand Slam championship matches since turning 30.

The head-to-head between Djokovic and Alcaraz is tied at 2-2 – with all four encounters featuring high-level and enthralling tennis. Djokovic edged the pair’s most recent clash – an epic and gruelling three-set battle in the final of the Cincinnati Masters in August.

In an interview with EFE, Navratilova lauded the level Djokovic continues to perform at and discussed the importance of having great rivals for tennis players.

“The question is: ‘How many years does Novak have left?’ Now, it looks like he could play for another 20 years. We’ll see, but it would be better if they were closer in age to see more matches,” said the Czech-American.

“We have become accustomed to such high standards with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. It’s nice to witness the clash of generations, with all the respect they have for each other.

“They are the only ones who can give their best, because in tennis you can be the best in the world, but if you play against a bad opponent, you won’t see good points. These guys give their best, and it’s the same at the WTA. You depend on the excellence of your opponent.”

Djokovic is in action at this week’s Paris Masters, where he will face Holger Rune in the quarter-finals on Friday. The 36-year-old is a record six-time champion at the ATP Masters 1000 tournament.

The world No 1 overcame Tallon Griekspoor in a tough three-set battle in the third round on Thursday.

READ MORE: Novak Djokovic confirms split with key team member as he enters ‘new chapter’

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