‘The debate is closed – we have never seen a player so strong’, says legend on Novak Djokovic
Tennis great Justine Henin has asserted that “the debate is closed on many things” after Novak Djokovic won his 24th Grand Slam title with victory at the 2023 US Open.
The seven-time major winner praised the Serbian’s mental strength and “perfect” tactics, while declaring “we have never seen a player so strong.”
Djokovic overcame 2021 US Open champion Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-3 in the final of this year’s edition of the hard-court Grand Slam on Sunday.
The 36-year-old’s triumph saw him tie Margaret Court’s tally of 24 major singles crowns and extend his record as the all-time men’s Grand Slam leader. He also regained the world No 1 ranking from Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz today.
Speaking to Eurosport, Henin lauded Djokovic’s performance against Medvedev and admitted it is difficult to put his achievements into words.
“Novak was the strongest, and he demonstrated it on many levels. We imagined that he would be totally ready to enter this final, but he did it in such a precise, so committed, so intense way,” said the Belgian.
“We look for the words, because we no longer find them concerning him. When we finally see this emotion we can imagine and we know all the work behind it, all this commitment, all its sacrifices, all its questioning, at 36 years old.
“There are no words, no matter how hard we look for one, but the debate is closed on many things. We have never seen a player so strong and he demonstrated it again in this final with style.
“And tactically, everything he came up with was perfect. And since Daniil Medvedev entered this part much more slowly, it made a significant gap. We had a second set of a truly exceptional level at times, with all the ingredients gathered to experience a great final.
“But that’s when Djokovic makes his life easier, by resisting. He was on a wire, and then it became clinical again. On his part, he weakens at times, and fortunately so, but he has so much mental strength that it becomes discouraging for his opponents.”
The former world No 1 also discussed the Serbian’s superb start to the championship match, during which he raced to a 3-0 lead in the opening set.
“Djokovic was able to do what Alcaraz failed to do two days ago: leave his mark on the start of the match,” assessed the two-time US Open champion.
“Djokovic showed his offensive intentions, he attacked him quite quickly. He served very well at the start of the game even if he had fewer first [serves] afterwards. Conversely, Medvedev was not impactful enough.”
Iga Swiatek doesn’t have another epic winning streak on her mind
Iga Swiatek is committed to taking things match by match.
Andy Roddick backs Coco Gauff after bizarre Dubai umpire row
Andy Roddick believes that chair umpire Pierre Bacchi was “completely wrong” in the incident involving Coco Gauff.
Dasha Medvedeva makes honest confession about being married to Daniil Medvedev
Dasha Medvedeva has spoken about what it has been like becoming a parent alongside ATP Tour star Daniil Medvedev.
Staggering price charged by Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz for private sessions revealed
Fans will have to pay a six-figure sum for a private session with the Spanish icons in Las Vegas.
Emma Raducanu reveals her biggest investment as a tennis player
Emma Raducanu has opened up on what it really takes to be a WTA Tour professional.
Emma Raducanu lifts the lid on her daily routine from skincare to mental health
What goes into a day for Emma Raducanu?
Juan Carlos Ferrero addresses if Carlos Alcaraz’s goal to break Novak Djokovic records is a good thing
“They are objectives that he has in the very long term, we know the difficulty that something like that requires.”
Morgan Riddle vs Paige Lorenze: Who has more social media clout?
Who makes the biggest splash on social media, Morgan Riddle or Paige Lorenze?
Simona Halep reflects on ‘harrowing’ experience of doping ban as she awaits her fate
“The nightmare that I have lived for a year and half has finished.”
Rafael Nadal reveals the two most important matches of his career – and one is surprising
Rafael Nadal picked two epic contests when naming the most important matches he has played.