Novak Djokovic lifted his 22nd Grand Slam trophy in Melbourne Park last Sunday, and as soon as the final match was decided a discussion about the so-called 'GOAT Race' started again.
Last year, Rafael Nadal surprisingly won the Australian Open, and after adding his 14th Roland Garros triumph, he was already two majors ahead of his rivals Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. Then, Djokovic won the Wimbledon and now he added also his 10th title in Australia.
According to Mats Wilander, Djokovic's 10 Australian Open titles can be compared to Nadal's 14 from Roland Garros, and with both players tied at 22 Grand Slams, fans and pundits started discussing, who really is the greatest player of all time. Shortly after his triumph, the 2023 Australian Open champion answered this question.
The Serbian was asked a very difficult question during a live interview with the Wide World of Sports, as the interviewer said: "I want to ask you, are you the greatest male tennis player of all time?" Very humbly, Djokovic answered:
"Don't ask me that, don't put me on the spot. First, I have to say that I'm so honored and privileged to be in this discussion. Second, I truly honor and admire the history and all the greats that paved the way for all of us to be here where we are."
The 22-time Grand Slam champion then elaborated more on his thoughts and how it's difficult to compare different eras.
"I feel like it's difficult to have a conversation about this because every generation is different. 30-40 years ago you played three out of four Slams on the grass, you played with wooden racquets. Technology has advanced so much, and things have changed. Hard to compare generations."
Djokovic then said that despite not being able to clearly say who is the best, he appreciates support from his fans, and people that think it's him.
"But I've given my best and I'm still doing that, so if the people see me as one of the greatest to ever play the game, I'm grateful, I'm very grateful."