"Novak Djokovic is just wired different, his legacy extends beyond popularity contests" - Reilly Opelka's father George

Novak Djokovic turned pro in the year 2003.
Novak Djokovic turned pro in the year 2003.

Reilly Opelka's father George recently praised Novak Djokovic for his monumental achievement of winning 24 Grand Slam titles.

Novak Djokovic outlasted Daniil Medvedev on Sunday, September 10, to win the US Open for a fourth time. With the triumph, he became the first tennis player to win 24 Grand Slam titles in the Open Era. The Serb now has two Major trophies more than Rafael Nadal (22) and four more than Roger Federer (20).

On Djokovic's achievement, Serena Williams' former coach Rennae Stubbs remarked that he is in the pursuit of bettering Federer and Nadal in record books because both of them are admired more by the fans.

"I think Roger [Federer] and Rafa [Nadal] definitely personified wanting to win a lot but it’s obsessive to Novak and you can see it. He wants to put the numbers up because he knows he’s not gonna be as popular worldwide as Roger and Rafa," she said via the Rennae Stubbs Tennis Podcast.

Former World No. 17 Reilly Opelka's father George recently joined the conversation on X (formerly Twitter), commenting that the Serb's legacy cannot be measured in terms of popularity.

"Novak is just wired different. His legacy is still being written and it extends beyond popularity contests, record books and his trophy case. If the media wants to focus on popularity contests, be sure to check in with the locker room too," George tweeted.

Among the 'Big-3' - Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic - the Serb was the last to turn pro (in 2003) and win a Grand Slam title (2008 Australian Open). Federer turned pro in 1998 and won his maiden Major trophy in 2003 (Wimbledon). Nadal became a professional in 2001 and won his first Slam title in 2005 (French Open).

"Novak Djokovic has better numbers than mine and that is indisputable" - Rafael Nadal

Laver Cup 2022 - Previews
Laver Cup 2022 - Previews

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal himself recently stated that Novak Djokovic is better than him if the record books are taken into consideration.

"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 said in an interview with AS.

The Spaniard also affirmed that he is not so self-centered as to overlook the statistics.

"I don't drop any rings nor do I have an ego big enough to try to disguise a reality that is not. This is the truth. The rest are tastes, inspiration, sensations that one or the other may transmit to you, that you may like one or the other more," he added.

Overall, Novak Djokovic has won 96 singles titles in his career so far whereas Nadal has 92 to his name.

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Edited by Shyam Kamal
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