Riding high on the success of his Australian Open title run, Novak Djokovic is in the form of his life and more motivated than ever. However, upcoming player Jiri Lehecka would love to beat the 35-year-old for the Wimbledon title this year and become the World No. 1.
The Czech Republic player turned pro in 2020 and while the 21-year-old started the 2023 season as the World No. 81, he achieved a career-high rank of No. 39 after reaching the last eight of the 2023 Australian Open. Lehecka beat the likes of Borna Coric, Cameron Norrie, and last year's quarterfinalist Felix Auger-Aliassime on his way to the quarterfinals, where he lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The Serb, on the other hand, played his favorite tournament after a gap of two years and won his 10th Melbourne title in dominant fashion. Apart from winning his last four Australian Open titles, the Serb has also won the last four Wimbledon editions. He is tied at seven SW19 titles with Pete Sampras and is one short of Roger Federer's record.
In a recent interview with BolaAmarela, Lehecka was asked to paint a picture of his dream match in a tournament of his choice in 2023, against any opponent and any round. Without thinking twice, the youngster stated that beating Djokovic in the Wimbledon final and getting to the No. 1 ranking would be the highest achievement for any player.
"That's an easy one. It would be to play in the Wimbledon final against Novak Djokovic for the position of world number one. To win that match would be the maximum that a player could win and dream of," Lehecka said.
The two players are yet to face each other in a tour-level match. The third Grand Slam tournament of the year, Wimbledon, is set to be played from July 3-16, 2023.
Novak Djokovic is the strongest but least loved of the Big 3: Fabio Fognini
Meanwhile, in a recent interview with Corriere dello Sport, Fabio Fognini weighed in on the GOAT debate, saying that although Novak Djokovic had better numbers than Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, the Serb was not as liked as the other two players.
"Nole is the strongest and the numbers prove it, but he is also the least loved of the Big 3," Fognini said. "It's difficult to find a suitable adjective for him. Last year he did not play two Slams and four Masters 1000, but still managed to qualify for the ATP Finals. He, Roger, and Rafa monopolized the circuit and wrote the history of this sport."
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