The unstoppable reign: Novak Djokovic dominance in men’s tennis continues

Jun 15, 2023
It is a record so high, that it may never be beaten by another male tennis player. Source: Getty

Novak Djokovic has such a smile on his face that will be virtually impossible to wipe off.

With his historic victory at the 2023 French Open, he not only reclaimed his World Number One ranking but also became the highest-ranking Grand Slam Champion, beating his old rival, Nadal’s record by one, at 23 won-trophies.

It is a record so high, that it may never be beaten by another male tennis player.

Djokovic’s critics hoped that Alcaraz could prevent Djokovic from winning the French Open. 

But it was not to be. 

He only could take one set off the Maestro in the semi-final.

And his Final opponent Ruud could not even win a single set against him.

Until a couple of years ago, men’s tennis was ruled by the Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic triumvirate. 

At just about every Grand Slam, one of them triumphed.

The competition was fierce and you could never know which of the three would win the Grand Slam until the final was over.

Going back further, there was a healthy rivalry between McEnroe and Borg, then between Lendl and Stephen Edberg.

But by now the Federer, Nadal, Djokovic triumvirate has given way to the Djokovic tyranny.

No younger competitor is able to break through the brick wall he erects against them in the Finals of Grand Slams. 

It is a brick wall of all-round skills, his enormous experience and the weight of his psychological superiority over his challengers in that he has managed to win 23 Grand Slams whereas his younger opponents have not won a single one against him.

Dokovic’s monopoly of Grand Slam Finals may not be good for men’s tennis.

It would be far more exciting if at least one new competitor could emerge who could beat him at least occasionally in Grand Slams.

The greatest hope lies in the talented young Carlos Alcaraz, but he is not yet up to the task.

The clash between Carlos Alcaras and Novak Djokovic was one of the two semi-final matches at the French Open, but it might as well have been the final.

The winner was likely to then take out the crown of the entire championship.

The stakes could not have been higher: 

Would Alcaraz firm as the Number One in the world or would the Djoker take over once again as well as claim his all-time record of the 23rd Grand Slam Trophy?

The Djoker, in his inimitable way, managed to turn much of the Western World against him through his incredibly insensitive political remark near the end of the French Open.

He declared defiantly that –‘Kosovo is the heart of Serbia’.

He did this while tensions are sky high in Kosovo and the United Nations Peace Keeping troops suffered injuries from rioting Serbs there.

All Kosovo needed was further incitement of the Serbs there from their national hero, Novak Djokovic.

But it was not just a slip of the tongue from the Djoker.

After all, he could have apologised for his outburst as insensitive and inappropriate, especially in a top sports tournament in a chief NATO country whose soldiers are risking their lives to keep peace in Kosovo. 

But no! He doubled down on his claim, repeating that he meant every word of it.

It matters little to the Djoker that Kosovo now is an independent state, recognised by most NATO countries and by most members of the UN, but of course not, by Russia and Serbia.

And once again the Djoker’s ego has got the better of him in trying to have it both ways.

Remember when he knew that he had Covid-19, yet he went ahead to risk the health of a French interviewer by going along to a prearranged interview with him, without even warning the interviewer that he had Covid- 19and then posing for a photo without a mask on?

And now he was keen to take the multimillion prize for winning at the French Open from a NATO member country whose troops he could be put under increasing risk of renewed violence by his inflammatory comments.

So, perhaps never before was the tennis world more polarised than prior to the Djoker’s semi-final clash.

It would not have been surprising that only mainly just the Serbs and Russians cheered for the Djoker.

The bulk of the Western World was barracking for an Alcaraz victory against the Serb and then for his Final opponent, Ruud.

Most of tennis’ top players too, would have perhaps liked to see the Djoker to be deprived of his crown.

Whilst Federer and Nadal have been highly revered by players and fans alike as humble and harmony-seeking people who helped to increase the world’s love of tennis, Djokovic has been seen as a more egocentric and divisive player from the word go.

Is this true, or is it our bias against a Serb daring to take over the Tennis Crown from Western Europeans?

For a while now Djokovic has had an iron grip on the single men’s Tennis Crown, against the chagrin of his competitors.

They have been groaning –

“Why man he does bestride the narrow world like a Colossus, while we petty men walk under his huge legs to seek for ourselves dishonourable graves.”

They desperately hoped that Carlos Alcaraz would topple the Colossus so that they could all recite the words of Shakespeare “These growing feathers plucked from Djoko’s wings will make him fly an ordinary pitch, who else would soar above the view of men and keep us all in servile fearfulness.”         

Alas, no plucking has taken place.

Not yet.    

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