One man has no doubts about Novak Djokovic’s GOAT status

Novak Djokovic Wimbledon

Goran Ivanisevic may not be the most objective judge of the GOAT race but he certainly knows enough about Novak Djokovic to be convinced that the Serbian is the sport’s greatest ever player.

The Croatian has grown close to Djokovic as his coach for a number of years but he feels if emotions are taken out of the equation then he is the clear best.

Ivanisevic feels that for a variety of reasons, Djokovic doesn’t get the respect he deserves as someone who came into the game after Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal but has already eclipsed them in many senses.

“Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t,” Ivanisevic told Express Sport when asked if Djokovic gets the respect he deserves.

“People they feel like they can relate with Rafa and Roger because they came [into tennis] first.

“But he does get great support. He is one of the best athletes, and I’m not just talking about tennis, but one of the best athletes in the world. He’s still going and what he did for tennis and for sport is amazing. I think people appreciate it, but I think they will appreciate more when he stops playing tennis.

“For me Novak is the greatest for me in everything, by results. Roger maybe played the most attractive tennis. But they all helped each other to become better players. First Roger, then Rafa and Novak came, the rivalry between these three guys was amazing. They made tennis a better sport and they all love tennis. But you have to choose somebody, some people prefer Roger or Nadal… for me, it’s Novak.”

Djokovic is chasing history at Wimbledon but isn’t looking beyond his next opponent, who happens to be a man who has twice denied him Grand Slam glory.

“Well, he took away two Grand Slams from me,” Djokovic said ahead of the third round meeting.

“That’s the role he played, beating me in two Grand Slam finals.

“No, I like Stan a lot. He’s a great person. Really always inspirational what he’s doing at his age. He’s almost 40 years old and he still keeps going strong. That’s something that not many people can do.

“After several surgeries of his knees, he keeps going strong and trying to create some more history for himself and tennis. We cannot forget that he’s a three-time Grand Slam champion and Davis Cup winner and also Olympic gold. He had a fantastic career.

“That’s why I think it’s something that is very admirable and very impressive that after the difficulties, physical difficulties, he has been through in the last five, six, seven years, he still refuses to give up and still keeps going.

“One of the nicest one-handed backhands that I have ever played against, ever seen. Very powerful player. Very strong. Very complete. He can play equally well on all surfaces.”

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