"The famous debate about who is the GOAT is completely dead now because of Novak"

Patrick Mouratoglou believes that all the talk about who is the greatest player of all time is definitely over.

Izvor: B92

Thursday, 30.11.2023.

17:30

Foto: EPA-EFE/Jorge Zapata

"The famous debate about who is the GOAT is completely dead now because of Novak"

Djokovic won seven titles in the just ended season, including three Grand Slam trophies, along with playing in the Wimbledon final.

As in 2015, Novak won three slams and the ATP final, he also finished the year as the number one in the world, but Mouratoglou believes that this last season is even better than the one eight years ago.

“It’s interesting to think if the Novak of 2023 is a better player than the Novak of 2015. I think the Novak of today is better,” he said. “His game evolved, his confidence evolved, he’s played so many more matches. He has so much more height when looking at his game, looking at his opponent. He didn’t drop physically. If he had have dropped physically, then probably the Novak of 2015 would have been a better player than the Novak of 2023. But his fitness level I think is the same. He’s as fast, he’s as flexible, he’s as balanced when he hits his shots, he’s as resistant. So, he’s a better player today, yes”, Mouratoglou said.

The French expert says that he is amazed that the Serbian tennis player was able to dominate world tennis for so long.

“I think the 2023 season of Novak is one of the best of his career. As good as the best ones he had in the past, 2015 for example, which is crazy when you think about it, because there is almost 10 years between those seasons. At 36 years old, it is something unheard of,” Mouratoglou said.

The owner of the popular tennis academy and former associate of Holger Rune and Stefanos Tsitsipas, as well as former coach of Serena Williams, says that it is very difficult to stay at the top for so long.

“I’ve never seen in the history of tennis someone who is on top of their game at 36, as much as they were at 26, 28. It’s a whole career of being at the top. He had one or two difficult years, but most of his career he’s been at the top of his game, even though he played in the same era as Roger and Rafa, which says even more about how an incredible dominant player he is”, Patrick said.

For him, there is no dilemma when talking about the "GOAT title".

Mouratoglou also believes that with Djokovic adding three more Slams, two Masters Series titles, another ATP Finals triumph and the season-ending world No 1 ranking to his legacy, the G.O.A.T. debate can be put to rest once and for all.

“I think the famous debate about who is the GOAT, I guess, is completely dead now after this incredible year, three more Grand Slams, plus one final. He has the record almost everywhere of all–number of Masters 1000s, number of weeks No 1, number of Grand Slams–and he’s still playing, he’s still at the top,” he said.

Another thing is remarkable about him.

"I often hear that what Roger did from 2017 to 2019 is just as good as what Novak is doing now. Like Roger was a better player in 2017, 2018 and before that. However, I think there is an important difference. Roger was in 2018 better than before for one reason. Backhand. He made an important decision, he started hitting the ball earlier on the backhand side, returning straight rather than slicing, systematically. It made a big difference. But Roger at 36, 37 was not able to win three out of four Grand Slam titles and be consistent throughout the year and above all other players. That didn't happen. The difference is that Novak is as physically good today as he was at 26. That's a big difference. When you are at that physical level, you can be consistent throughout the year and beat the best players on a consistent basis. That's a really big difference," Mouratoglou concluded. star_border

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