Martina Navratilova identifies why Novak Djokovic is a step ahead of the rest
Novak Djokovic claimed another US Open title as he beat Daniil Medvedev in a gruelling final in New York, with the plaudits flowing for the champion who now has 24 Grand Slam titles in his collection.
Medvedev pushed Djokovic all the way in a compelling second set, but he came up short as the enduring champion of the game claimed a 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 win to clinch his fourth Flushing Meadows crown.
The victory inspired 18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova to suggest Djokovic’s attention to detail on and off the court is the key to his enduring success.
“He’s the consummate professional, always has been, and has the talent that goes with it. All the ingredients are there and the technology,” Navratilova told Sky Sport.
“He surrounds himself with people that know what he’s doing and he keeps thriving to get better.
“That’s what I really admire him the most, he still wants to get better.
“This won’t be his last major. He has a few more left in him.”
Former British No 1 Tim Henman believes Djokovic is the complete player, as he has a better knowledge of the game than all his rivals.
“He understands all aspects of his game and preparation. When you break down the match tactics, so many elements are so impressive,” Henman told Sky Sports.
“That serve and volley, coming to the net so many times, that’s someone who has evolved his game. He wasn’t comfortable at the net before, there were question marks about his serve six years ago – it was the complete performance.
“We talk about his 24th Grand Slam and you just don’t feel like it’s going to be his last.
“The hunger is there, the desire and fitness.”
Former British No 1 Annabel Croft believes Djokovic has set new standards in the sport, as he equalled Margaret Court’s all-time Grand Slam record with his 24th major.
“He certainly is laying down a marker for what is possible in his career and I don’t think he’s stopping any time soon. Why would he? It was almost a perfect season,” Croft told the BBC.
Why would he not continue when he is achieving what he is achieving? When he starts to lose to some of the young guns coming through in early rounds of Grand Slams he might start to think my time has passed, but he might go on and win a couple more next year.”
A smiling Medvedev also marvelled at Djokovic’s enduring success, as he jovially suggested the time may have come for him to retire.
“I want to ask Novak, what are you still doing here?” said the Russian.
“Jokes aside, it’s my third final, maybe not the last I hope. Novak will probably be in many more – I don’t know when you’re planning to slow down a bit? Congrats to you and your team on 24, I feel like I had not a bad career and I have 20 titles and you have 24 Grand Slams. Wow.
“I was here two years ago when I won and I thought what a great [wedding] anniversary for my wife. Today not really. Our anniversary is the same date then and today so I thought come on, do it one more time.
“I want to thank everyone who supports me through this sometimes tough, sometimes easy, sometimes happy and sometimes sad journey.”
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