Goran Ivanisevic, the former Wimbledon champion and Novak Djokovic’s coach, said the 34-year-old Serbian would be the undisputed greatest player of all-time if he wins the US Open this summer.
And the former Croatian lefthander said he’d be surprised if Djokovic doesn’t conquer Flushing Meadows.
On Sunday, Djokovic tied Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at 20 major titles with his Wimbledon championship – a four-setter over Italy’s Matteo Berrettini to put him in position for the mythical “Grand Slam.”
That’s all four major titles in the same year — no men’s player has swept all four majors since Rod Laver in 1969. An Open title would then give Djokovic 21 majors – the new record. The men’s Open Final is Sept. 12.
“Five, six, seven years ago we were talking about Federer, only about Federer,” the outspoken Ivanisevic said. “Now you have Nadal and him competing who is going to be the best ever. For me Novak is the best ever. He’s writing history. He’s going to do it in US Open. I strongly believe he’s going to do it, he’s going to win all four in one year. Then I think story’s over.”
Djokovic is the first men’s player since Laver to win the first three majors and enter the Open with a chance at further immortality.
“He is writing tennis history,” Ivanisevic said. “I say he’s the only guy who can win four in a row in the same year. If he wins US Open, I think it’s over. But Nadal is going to fight. Nadal is going to come to French next year. He wants to win more. But for me Novak is the biggest ever, he’s gonna be the best. I don’t even have to debate about that.”
Djokovic said at his post-match press conference he’s “divided” on the Olympics because of the new restrictions, which would end his bid for the so-called “Golden Slam” and give him a better chance at being fresh for the Open.