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If Novak Djokovic ends his career with most Grand Slams, it will be impossible to argue against him being the GOAT: Andy Roddick

Novak Djokovic after beating Casper Ruud at the ATP Finals
Novak Djokovic after beating Casper Ruud at the ATP Finals
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ANALYST

Andy Roddick recently threw his weight behind Novak Djokovic in the GOAT debate. Roddick believes statistical achievements must be given the most importance while evaluating the GOAT, which is why he feels Djokovic has surpassed his rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic went past Federer's record of most weeks as World No. 1 (310 weeks) in March. The Serb then drew level with Federer and Nadal on 20 Slams by winning Wimbledon.

Djokovic's record-setting spree continued at the Paris Masters, where he won his 37th Masters 1000 title, taking him past Nadal's tally of 36. The Serb also sealed a record-breaking seventh Year-End No. 1 finish, going past Pete Sampras' tally of six.

Considering his achievements, a number of former greats, including Pete Sampras, believe there is no doubt that Djokovic is indeed the greatest of all time. However, many sections of Federer and Nadal's fanbase have refused to acknowledge the Serb as the GOAT.

Speaking on the Tennis Channel, Andy Roddick stressed that it is difficult to argue against Djokovic's numbers regardless of allegiances.

"Roger's one of my dear, dear friends, I have so much respect for Rafa Nadal - I hope they both come back and win Majors," Andy Roddick said. "But also very clearly, if Novak Djokovic ends his career with the most Grand Slam titles of all time, it is a statistical impossibility to argue against him being the greatest based on numbers, which is what we should base it on off."
β€œI’ll say it very clearly, if @djokernole ends his career with the most Grand Slams titles of all time it is a statistical impossibility to argue against him being the greatest based on numbers.”- @andyroddickStream live β†’ tnns.ch/app#TCLive https://t.co/d1ArL3RKbG

Roddick cited some of Djokovic's significant records, including his positive head-to-head against Federer (27-23) and Nadal (30-28), to highlight his point.

"Seven Year-End No. 1 is another feather in the cap to go along with most Masters 1000, to go with the winning head-to-head against the greatest players of all time," Roddick added. "So it's hard to make an argument against Novak at this point. And he's the one who is in the best form."

The former US Open champion also reckons the recent injury problems faced by Federer and Nadal have, in a way, propelled Djokovic to perform at his best.

"Listen, he senses blood in the water (with main rivals injured), he knows that he's arguably playing the best tennis of his career now," Roddick added. "Like this might have been his best season ever."

Djokovic came agonizingly close to completing a Calendar Slam, but he fell short in the US Open final, losing to Daniil Medvedev in straight sets.

Novak Djokovic lost the 2021 US Open final to Daniil Medvedev
Novak Djokovic lost the 2021 US Open final to Daniil Medvedev

Roddick pointed out how the result was considered a major shock for Djokovic, which he feels is not the case since the Serb lost to the second-best player in the world.

"We kind of treated him getting beaten in a Grand Slam final like it was the biggest upset in the history, and by the way, he lost to the No. 2 player in the world after winning three Slams," Andy Roddick said. "Like that's the level we expect from him where he's not allowed to lose to anyone. It's crazy and he knows it."

Pam Shriver explains why Novak Djokovic's seven Year-End No. 1 titles stand out

Record-breaker πŸ™Œ@DjokerNole lifts the year-end number 1 trophy for a record 7th time!#NittoATPFinals https://t.co/KuWfIOf05g

Pam Shriver, a 22-time Major champion in doubles, also made an appearance on the Tennis Channel, where she gave her thoughts on Novak Djokovic's seventh Year-End No. 1 title.

Shriver believes finishing the year as No. 1 highlights a player's consistency but does not hold more weight than the Grand Slam tally.

"Well, actually Year-End No. 1 in both the men's and the women's side counts a ton," Pam Shriver said. "A lot of players touch No. 1 at some point in the year but finishing a year in No. 1 is really special. Obviously, the 20 Majors singles titles - that sits alongside Roger and Rafa - it's such a special time. But I think a year at No. 1 after winning Majors it comes in second. "

Edited by Arvind Sriram
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