Former British No.1 Greg Rusedski believes Novak Djokovic will bounce back from his Australian Open fiasco and went as far as saying that the Serb will go down as the greatest player ever and will surpass Margaret Court’s long-standing record of 24 Grand Slams. In his latest interview with Tennis Channel, the former US Open runner-up also spoke about Djokovic’s next tournament and predicted he will definitely win his first event.
“So Djokovic wants to go down as the greatest male tennis player in the history of the sport. Probably even break Margaret Court’s record of 24 Majors. So I think the next tournament he plays where he’s going to be allowed to play, depending on his status with vaccinations, and so forth, and countries’ rules towards that. Mark my words, he’s going to win his first event back,” Rusedski said.
Rusedski also claimed that Djokovic’s ordeal during the Australian Open, where the World No.1 was deported owing to his vaccination status, will ignite the Serb’s hunger to win more Grand Slams, especially after Nadal won the Melbourne Major and left Djokovic behind in the race for most Grand Slams won.
“Well, Djokovic is gotta be, you know, upset about the whole situation Down Under thinking, okay, I should win Wimbledon this year, then the US Open. So I think this is gonna be an amazing year. Yeah, with these guys. Oh yeah, he’s gonna have the bit between his teeth,” he added.
“At the end of 2022, Novak and Rafa will be tied at 22 Slams”- Greg Rusedski
The recent public sentiment against Djokovic has been mostly negative because of his strong stance on not getting vaccinated. This was one of the reasons for his deportation from Australia. There was a public outcry in Australia when Djokovic was controversially granted an exemption to enter Australia, which was later canceled. However, Rusedski expects Djokovic to not be bothered by this negative sentiment against him and even quoted the match against Roger Federer at the 2017 US Open where Djokovic was not bothered by most of the crowd rooting against him. Rusedski might be recalling the 2015 US Open in fact, because Djokovic didn’t compete at the 2017 edition as he had to withdraw with an injury.
“There’s no question about it to me, I’ve seen him do things on a tennis court that nobody else has done. I mean, I bring back that match, the 2017 match against Federer at the US Open. I was there live on the court and he had 22 and a half thousand people against him, didn’t make him flinch or bother him whatsoever against one of the all-time greats.”
The Brit also made a bold prediction saying Nadal and Djokovic will be winning the rest of the Slams this year and will be locked at 22 Majors each by the end of 2022.
“There are two guys going for the cliff right now, and I would say that’s Djokovic and Nadal. Mark my words, end of 2022, it’s gonna have 22 slams Rafa, 22 Novak.”