Rising American star picks Novak Djokovic as his dream opponent ‘because he’s the GOAT’

Novak Djokovic celebrates

Rising ATP star Alex Michelsen has revealed Novak Djokovic would be his dream matchup because he thinks the legendary Serb is the the greatest player of all time.

The 19-year-old admitted he would “probably not” win against Djokovic but declared it would be a “good experience” to face off with the tennis icon.

Michelsen, who turned professional earlier this year, had a superb season as he remarkably rose over 500 places to finish 2023 as the world No 97, having started at No 601 in the ATP Rankings.

The American, who reached a career-high position of 94th earlier in November, won seven of his 15 matches on the main ATP Tour and claimed two Challenger titles.

The 6ft-4in teenager reached the final of the ATP 250 grass-court event in Newport in July, where he was beaten by Adrian Mannarino. He defeated Maxime Cressy, James Duckworth, Mackenzie McDonald and John Isner en route to the title match.

Michelsen qualified for the Next Gen ATP Finals, which was played in Jeddah last week, and exited in the group stage as he lost all three matches (two of which were in five sets).

READ MORE: The 10 biggest ATP Rankings rises in 2023: American star makes stunning 500-place surge

In a video for the Next Gen ATP Finals, Michelsen named Djokovic when asked which player would be his dream matchup on the tour and identified the Serb as the best player ever.

“I’d love to play Novak, because he’s the GOAT. [I would] probably not [win], but good experience to play Novak (laughs),” the American said.

The 19-year-old was asked about who was his inspiration outside of tennis and also divulged he learned to play the sport because his parents were college players.

“Outside of tennis, I’m definitely inspired by my mom. Even though she taught me how to play, she how to be a good person. So I would say my mom for sure,” he explained.

“Yeah, I got started in tennis because both my parents played college tennis and they were both pretty good. So they taught me how to play from when I was three years old onward.”

Michelsen also revealed his biggest ambition in tennis is to reach the top 10 in the ATP Rankings and that his favourite shot is his backhand.

READ MORE: Novak Djokovic facing a double threat to his status as world No 1 – but not from Jannik Sinner