Sports, Tennis

Medvedev hails Djokovic as 'the greatest'

Published : 02 Jul 2023 08:12 PM

Daniil Medvedev described Novak Djokovic as "the greatest" on Saturday, defying the conventional wisdom to place Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on the same pedestal as the Serb.

Djokovic racked up a men's record 23rd Grand Slam title with a third French Open triumph last month.

He is about to launch a bid to equal Federer's record of eight Wimbledon titles which will move him alongside Margaret Court as the all-time top major winner with 24 titles.

"I think if I saw it right, Novak is almost 50%. I think I saw he played 70 majors, and 35 times he was in the final. I don't know how is it possible. He doesn't have bad days?" said Medvedev.

"Actually, he does, like everybody but even on these bad days, he manages to beat the opponent. I don't know how he's doing it. That's why he's for me the greatest in the history of tennis."

Should Djokovic successfully defend his Wimbledon title, he will just need to pocket the US Open in September to become the first man since 1969 to claim a calendar Grand Slam. Djokovic had the same opportunity in 2021 but lost the final in New York -- to Medvedev.

"To be able to beat him when he was going for a Grand Slam, maybe he was a little bit tighter than usual, but I played an amazing match," recalled Medvedev.

Djokovic's career-long rival Andy Murray, meanwhile, described the Serb's achievement in reaching 23 majors as "phenomenal".

Murray, a former world number one, was the last man to defeat Djokovic on Centre Court when he won the first of his two Wimbledon titles in 2013.

That was the only time in their 36-match head-to-head they have ever met at the All England Club.

"What he's gone on to achieve the latter stages of his career, it's been incredible. Also doesn't look like he's slowing down," said Murray who practiced with Djokovic at the tournament on Saturday.

"What he did at the French Open, it was phenomenal.

"Brilliant performance against Carlos Alcaraz in the semi-finals. Just very clinical, considering how much was on the line. It shows the strength of character that he's got."