Using Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as measuring sticks to assess one’s tennis credentials is a harsh and, ultimately, a futile exercise. That Novak Djokovic comes through this most searing of examinations with flying colours is a testament to his genius. On Sunday, the Serb laid down the most definitive marker yet of his dazzling brilliance by pulling level with the celebrated duo on 20 Grand Slam singles titles. A tense four-set victory over Italy’s Matteo Berrettini also gave Djokovic his third straight title at the All England club (sixth overall) and helped complete the French Open-Wimbledon double, one of sport’s toughest achievements. Djokovic’s record-equalling feat had seemed improbable as recently as the summer of 2018. As a 31-year-old, he entered that year’s Wimbledon as the 12th seed after having spent two years on the fringes. Federer and Nadal, gaining second winds, had swept the previous six Slams and were already on 20 and 17 respectively. But Djokovic rediscovered his mojo and has since won eight of 12 Majors, the most dominant streak of his career. He has conquered Federer on grass and Nadal on clay, and snuffed out rebellions from the game’s ‘Next Gen’ of Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Berrettini, beating them for his last four Slam trophies. So much so that he now feels the “most complete” he has ever been as a player. ,football-odds-today
soccer-royale,The accomplishments have inevitably reignited the debate on who the greatest men’s player of all time is. While comparisons between eras are often limited and come with caveats — think the great Pancho Gonzales being denied chances to compete in Majors in the 1950s because he had turned professional — Djokovic is without doubt the best of his generation. This week will be his record 329th as World No.1 and he is the only man to have won all four Slams, all nine ATP Masters 1000s and the year-ending ATP Finals, twice. No other statistic better represents his relentless pursuit of excellence, across surfaces, continents and seasons. At the US Open starting next month, he has a shot at sporting immortality, as he can become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win all four Majors in a single year. Ashleigh Barty may be a long way from such monumental successes, but like Djokovic, she has proved adept at mastering the game’s natural surfaces by adding the Wimbledon crown to the French title she won in 2019. The 25-year-old Aussie’s craft and guile was fully on display as she felled opponents as chalk and cheese as Angelique Kerber (counter-puncher) and Karolina Pliskova (all-out attacker). With modesty in her bones, she oozes an enviably understated elegance, something the tennis world is sure to see more and more of.