Following his record equaling 24th Grand Slam title at the 2023 US Open, an Australian Federal Senator has congratulated Novak Djokovic on leveling Margaret Court’s Majors tally. He also asserted how qualities like the Serb's conviction and courage have helped him win against all odds at the end of the day.
Novak Djokovic won the 2023 US Open in emphatic manner, breezing past all but one opponent easily, ultimately exacting his revenge on Daniil Medvedev in the final for his 2021 loss.
This marked his 24th Grand Slam, surpassing Serena WIlliams' Open Era record and equaling Australia’s Margaret Court, who has been sitting pretty on top of the all-time list for many decades. However, this milestone has come with its set of adversities and challenges for Novak Djokovic.
Many would have expected Novak Djokovic to have equaled or even surpassed Court well before the 2023 US Open. Unfortunately for the World No. 1, some of his principles had prevented him from even competing at multiple Majors in last year.
Given his stand on not vaccinating himself against COVID-19, Djokovic was blocked from traveling to the US, meaning he could not step on North American soil to compete at the US Open in 2022. Earlier in the year, the same had happened in Australia, just with far more drama.
Having traveled to Australia for the year’s first Major in 2022, Djokovic was held under house arrest and ultimately deported from the country for not being vaccinated. This ensued a global debate on whether the government was justified in treating the Serbian so.
Australian Federal Senator Ralph Babet has now made his mind known with his speech. Babet, who is the Senator for Victoria, congratulated Novak Djokovic and labeled him “Serbia’s greatest athlete” before commending him on equaling Court’s Grand Slam record.
He further expressed his appreciation for Djokovic by thanking him for proving that “humility, conviction and courage” can win in the face of strong opposition and adversity.
“Congratulations to Novak Djokovic, Serbia's greatest athlete. Congratulations on equalling our own Margaret Court's grand slam record, and thank you for reminding us that humility, conviction and courage in the face of bullying and intimidation can, in the end, win through,” Babet wrote on Twitter.
Babet’s words also suggest a subtle dig at his own country’s government for the way it had handled the whole affair with Djokovic back in 2022. He mentioned how the 24-time Grand Slam champion has won the biggest titles despite having to fight even against governments and not just tennis players.
Rafael Nadal makes Novak Djokovic admission: "I think he has better numbers than mine and that is indisputable"
Rafael Nadal has been one of Novak Djokovic’s biggest rivals for the entirety of the Serbian’s career, except perhaps 2023. Nadal is also known to be very honest about his thoughts regarding fellow professionals and his recent statement has given Djokovic fans a lot to grin about.
In an interview with Spanish publication AS, Rafael Nadal admitted that Novak Djokovic stands atop the list when you look at the numbers and statistics. Nadal conceded that the 36-year-old has the better numbers compared to his own and that he has no ego in admitting that.
While he agreed that each individual will have a nuanced outlook towards the best players and their accomplishments, Nadal also said that when it comes to the most objective of metrics - titles - the World No. 1 is the best in the history.
“I believe that numbers are numbers and statistics are statistics and, in that sense, I think he has better numbers than mine and that is indisputable,” Nadal told Spanish outlet Diario AS. “It is not beneath me nor do I have an ego big enough to try to disguise a reality that is not. This is the truth”, he said.
“The rest are tastes, inspiration, sensations that one player or the other may transmit to you, that you may like one or the other more. I think that with respect to titles, Djokovic is the best in history and there is nothing to discuss in that”, Nadal stated.
Novak Djokovic now sits alone at the top of men’s tennis with 24 Majors, winning three this year in the absence of his most prolific rival.