“When I was 7 or 8 years old, I dreamed of becoming the best tennis player in the world. Lifting the trophy at Wimbledon was the only goal I ever wanted. But after that, I set new dreams and goals and achieved them. “I never imagined that I would win my 24th Grand Slam title and talk to you like this.”
Tennis fans around the world are living in the ‘Djokovic era.’ Novak Djokovic (36, Serbia, No. 1 in the world rankings) defeated Daniil Medvedev (27, Russia, No. 3 in the world) in the men’s singles final of the 2023 US Open Tennis Tournament held at the Billy Jean King National Tennis Center in New York, USA on the 11th (Korean time). above) 3-0 (6-3 7-6<7-5> 6-3) to win the championship.
▲ Novak Djokovic, who won the 2023 US Open men’s singles, is happy wearing a jumper with ’24’ engraved on it.
Djokovic, who stood on the podium, quickly took off his jumper with ’24’ written on it. The T-shirt worn inside contained a photo taken with ‘NBA (National Basketball) legend’ Kobe Bryant (USA). Djokovic, who won his 24th Grand Slam title, paid tribute to Bryant, who wore number 24 during his lifetime. In short, a movie-like scene occurred vividly.
Djokovic, who was born in Belgrade, Serbia, had a difficult training environment during his childhood due to the Yugoslav civil war. His parents worked hard to support him in order to play tennis, which was expensive. Djokovic, with his natural talent, thorough self-management, and persistent tenacity who is not satisfied even at the top, has become the greatest tennis player of all time (GOAT: The Greatest Of All Time).
‘Rival of the century’ Federer-Nadal, ‘flawless technician’ surpassed
Since 2000, the history of men’s tennis has been a rivalry between Roger Federer (42, Switzerland) and Rafael Nadal (37, Spain). They were considered the best competitors in tennis history. Djokovic, who appeared like a comet among them, soon opened the door to the ‘Era of the Big 3’. The competition between Federer, Nadal, and even Djokovic led to the success of men’s tennis.
When he was young, Djokovic had a hot-headed personality and often missed games he had already mastered. But he started to control his mind and his mental strength surpassed that of Federer and Nadal. In addition, he left a significant footprint in tennis history as he grew into an ‘all-round player’ who was good at everything to the point of being called a ‘flawless technician’.
▲ Novak Djokovic, who won the 2023 US Open
Federer won his 20th major championship. He attempted to return to the court while battling chronic knee injuries, but ultimately announced his retirement last year.
Nadal became the first player to win his 22nd Grand Slam title by conquering the Australian Open and French Open last year. However, he was unable to perform to his full potential due to various injuries. Last May, he withdrew from the French Open after failing to recover from his hip injury. Nadal, who has been unable to play on the court this year, announced his retirement after the French Open next year.
When the two ‘tennis greats’ could not overcome the passage of time, Djokovic emerged as the leader in the ‘GOAT competition’. Last year, Djokovic entered a ‘dark period’ in his tennis career. His participation in the Australian Open was canceled due to the issue of not being vaccinated against the novel coronavirus infection (Corona 19). Additionally, his participation in the men’s professional tennis (ATP) tour held in North America was cancelled, and he was unable to even participate in the US Open.
However, this year, as the US and Australian governments relaxed their quarantine measures against COVID-19, Djokovic took the opportunity. He won his 10th title at the Australian Open and also topped the French Open without Nadal. He attempted for his 24th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon. In the final, he had a full set battle with ‘Rising Sun’ Carlos Alcaraz (20, Spain, world No. 2), but lost 2-3 (6-1 6-7<6-8> 1-6 6-3 4-6) was defeated.
▲ Novak Djokovic (right), who won the 2023 ATP Tour Western & Southern Open, and Carlos Alcaraz, who finished second.
Djokovic’s momentum seemed to be dampened by the ascension of Alcaraz’s ‘new emperor’. However, Djokovic, who was a ‘man who never gave up’, immediately took revenge. In the finals of the ATP Tour Western & Southern Open, a prelude to the US Open, he defeated Alcaras 2-1 (5-7 7-6<9-7> 7-6<7-4>) after a fierce battle that lasted 3 hours and 49 minutes. .
Djokovic, who continued his success at the US Open, reached the finals. The opponent he faced for the championship was not Alcaras, but Medvedev, who had defeated him in the final of this tournament two years ago. Djokovic became the final winner by defeating Medvedev, the ‘powerhouse of the hard court’, with a flawless performance from start to finish.
With this, Djokovic matched Margaret Court’s (Australia) record of winning the 24th Grand Slam tournament. It was truly a moment to prove that he was the winner of the ‘GOAT competition’ over Nadal and Federer.먹튀검증
▲ Novak Djokovic (left), who won the 2023 US Open men’s singles, is thrilled as he hugs his daughter Tara.
The never-ending myth of Djokovic… The pace of the ‘record making machine’ does not stop.
Medvedev, who finished second in the US Open, jokingly congratulated Djokovic on his achievements, saying, “Novak (Djokovic), how are you still here? When are you going to slow down?”
In fact, Djokovic defeated Ben Shelton (20, USA, world ranking 19th), who is 16 years younger than him, 3-0 (6-3 6-2 7-6<7-4>) in the semifinals. In the final, he defeated Medvedev, who was 9 years younger than him, and took the trophy.
Even though he is in his mid-30s, Djokovic showed stamina that is no lower than that of younger players. He also continues to participate in Grand Slam stages thanks to injury prevention that comes from his thorough self-management.
▲ Novak Djokovic (left), who won the 2023 US Open men’s singles, and Daniil Medvedev, who finished runner-up.
Considering this year’s momentum, it is expected that Djokovic’s upward trend will not stop next year if there are no major injuries. The Australian Open, Djokovic’s favorite, will be held in January 2024. ‘Soil God’ Nadal is not as good as before, but the French Open is still the tournament that Djokovic finds the most difficult. The existence of the ‘new earth god’ Alcaras is also threatening enough.
At Wimbledon, Djokovic, who has reached the top spot seven times, is still expected to be strong. Djokovic regained his confidence by reaching the top of the US Open, where he had struggled along with the French Open, this year. There is also interest in whether ‘record maker’ Djokovic will achieve the Calendar Grand Slam (winning all four Grand Slam tournaments in one year), which he missed twice.
Among the ‘Big 3’, Djokovic is the only one who is maintaining his prime. For the remainder of this year and next year, he will compete in various competitions with young players, including his ‘new rival’ Alcaras.