Novak Djokovic celebrates Serbia's WC qualification
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Novak Djokovic could end his career on as many as 25 Grand Slam titles, according to a former pro. The world No 1 was able to equal his long-time rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on 20 Major titles this year, and came within one match of a record 21st before losing to Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final. Now, former British No 1 Greg Rusedski has tipped the Serb to go on to equal Serena Williams’ tally of 23, and potentially reach an all-time record of 25.
Djokovic has enjoyed a successful year at the Grand Slams.
The Serb picked up titles at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon, setting himself up to become the first man in 52 years to win all four Majors in a single calendar year.
He fell at the final hurdle, losing to Daniil Medvedev in the championship match at the US Open, denying him the chance to also surpass his rivals Federer and Nadal to reach a record 21 Grand Slam titles for a male singles player.
Although he was unable to make history in New York, former world No 4 Greg Rusedski believes the 86-time ATP Tour title winner could secure a record-breaking 21st Major title as soon as January, at the upcoming Australian Open.
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However, Djokovic is currently in doubt to compete in the season-opening Grand Slam, as government officials are looking at making proof of full vaccination mandatory for all players competing, and the world No 1 has previously refused to declare his vaccination status.
Speaking exclusively to Express Sport about how many Grand Slam titles the Serb would go on to win before the end of his career, Rusedski said: “24, 25.
“I think if he wins Down Under in Australia, which he’s got to be the favourite, depending on all the whole vaccination thing, whether he’s been vaccinated, which he doesn’t want to talk about. You know that’s already one discussion to start up 2022.”
The retired pro-turned-Prime Video pundit also believed Djokovic would be able to pick up two Grand Slam titles on average each year for the next couple of seasons.
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He continued: “If he wins in Australia, he gets to 21, you’ve got to think he’s probably going to win two in the calendar year. So that’s 22 already.
“Year after that, then he wins one or two more so 23. [He will end on] Anything between 23 and 25.”
While Djokovic is tied with Federer and Nadal for the most singles Grand Slam titles won by a male player, Serena Williams holds the Open Era record with 23 singles Majors overall, while Margaret Court has 24 including those she won before the start of the professional Open Era.
Rusedski said the 34-year-old would likely have his eye on surpassing all of the records, in an attempt to become the undisputed greatest of all time.
“I think the goal for him is 25 because it becomes undisputed in any category that he’s the greatest of all time,” he explained.
“And there’s a fascinating article from Pete Sampras where they asked him who the greatest of all time is and he said it’s no question in his opinion that it’s a certain guy by the name of Novak Djokovic, what he’s accomplished.”
Rusedski, a Grand Slam runner-up at the 1997 US Open, also thought Djokovic was motivated to break other records in tennis, including the most year-end No 1 finishes after he recently broke the record for male players, reaching the top spot in the rankings to end the season for a seventh time.
“He wants to be the best male tennis player.
Best in the men’s game and the women’s game because the record for Slams is 24 by Margaret Court. End of season No 1s I believe is Steffi Graf with eight year-end No 1s, he’s done it seven times.”
The ATP Finals can be watched exclusively on Amazon Prime Video in the UK at no extra cost to Prime members from 14 Nov to 21 Nov.
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