'Purely As A Tennis Player This Man Is Unbelievable': Osaka On Djokovic

'Purely As A Tennis Player This Man Is Unbelievable': Osaka On Djokovic

by Nurein Ahmed

Former WTA No. 1 Naomi Osaka has learned to appreciate Novak Djokovic's tennis accomplishments, labeling him as an 'unbelievable' tennis player.

Djokovic, winner of 24 Grand Slam singles titles (the most by a male player), along with a record-setting 390 plus weeks at No. 1, is statistically regarded as the greatest tennis player in history. Witnessing Djokovic's latest piece of history in the flesh appears to have given Osaka a completely different perspective on him.

In the late noughties, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal enjoyed a duopoly over the rest of the Tour, sharing most of the big titles. Federer played in 10 successive Grand Slam finals between 2005 Wimbledon and US Open 2007. While Nadal was the undisputed master of the clay courts, winning four straight French Opens from 2005 to 2009.

But Djokovic stepped out of their shadows and managed to end the stranglehold of Federer and Nadal on men's tennis. He had briefly threatened to end their hegemony at the start of the 2008 season when he won his first major at the Australian Open. However, it was at the start of 2011 when he came of age.

Djokovic has since amassed the most Slams, the most Masters titles, and the most Grand Slam finals appearances among many other significant landmarks. Naomi Osaka, who grew up idolizing and loving Serena Williams, was in awe at the enviable career that Djokovic has had, and even at 36 is not giving any hint of stepping away.

In a recent Q&A on her Instagram, Osaka was asked to name her favorite tennis player. The Japanese star who is currently preparing to rejoin the Tour from maternity leave next season, refrained from giving a definitive answer but has grown to appreciate the Serbian.

"Honestly as I grew up I really learned to appreciate Novak a lot more. Purely as a tennis player, this man is unbelievable lol. Everyone knows I love Serena and I appreciated how focused Nadal and Sharapova were every match too. I don’t have a favorite though. I like qualities from a bunch of different players."


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