Novak Djokovic has dominated men’s tennis for the last three years as he has been successful in five of the last nine Grand Slam singles tournaments.
The Serbian has 17 Grand Slam titles now, two behind Rafael Nadal and three away from the record held by Roger Federer.
Djokovic has been part of the great period of tennis we have all enjoyed over the past decade. The rivalry between Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, and to some extent, Andy Murray, created a phenomenal standard which will be hard to reproduce.
At the start of 2011, aged 24, Djokovic had just one Grand Slam success to his name. This was his breakthrough victory in the 2008 Australian Open where he beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final. Not many could have anticipated the Serbian would go on to reach 17 major wins and still counting.
Although they have still been in contention for Grand Slam titles, it is fair to say Federer and Nadal are now at the back end of their careers. With far less miles on the clock, Djokovic is still at his peak, a level which has been unmatched on the tour.
Djokovic started 2020 like he has many seasons before by winning in Melbourne, his eighth success in the Australian Open. He is 11/10 in the latest tennis odds to defend his crown on his return to Melbourne Park in 2021.
The reigning world number one is 33 years old now. He has two more opportunities to add to his tally in 2020 with the French Open and US Open. The latter probably represents his best chance of the two given how dominant Nadal continues to be on the clay in Paris.
Federer and Nadal Have Had Success In Their late 30s
Although a lot depends on how many injuries a tennis player has had in their career, Federer and Nadal have proved the great ones can continue to add to Grand Slam tally in their late 30s.
Federer won his last Grand Slam at the age of 37 at Wimbledon in 2017. Using that age as a marker, Djokovic should continue to claim major successes over the next four years. If he stays fit and healthy during that period, we can expect him to have more than 20 titles.
Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev are three of the most talented stars in tennis today; they are all inside the top 10 of the world rankings. Although they have yet to have success in one of tennis’ big four tournaments, they are getting closer to being real contenders.
Djokovic’s experience in Grand Slam finals is likely to be invaluable when he faces younger opponents over the next few years. The last man to beat him in one of those finals was Stanislas Wawrinka at the US Open in 2016.
The debate is likely to go on when Djokovic, Federer and Nadal all retire as to who was the greatest of the three. Djokovic should be able to boast the most Grand Slam titles, something which will help those arguing in his favour.