Tipsarevic Tips Djokovic As The Best Ever
Janko Tipsarevic is close friends with World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, so he admits that he is biased. But the former World No. 8 believes that his countryman's extreme sacrifice will ultimately see him regarded as the best player in the history of the sport.
“I honestly feel that I can tell you something with utmost certainty: if you take all the top players — and I’m obviously not talking about Rafa on clay — if they are at their peak, playing their best tennis ever, Novak Djokovic is the best player of all-time,” Tipsarevic said. “But you have certain thresholds and records, which obviously need to be broken. I believe if his body holds up, because he’s also 31 years old, it is possible.”
Djokovic owns 32 ATP Masters 1000 titles, just one behind leader Nadal. He also owns 15 Grand Slam championships, trailing only Federer (20) and Nadal (17).
At last year’s Miami Open presented by Itau, Djokovic fell in his opener against Benoit Paire, the first time he lost three consecutive matches since 2007. Djokovic was struggling to recover from a right elbow procedure after the Australian Open.
But since, the Serbian has found his best tennis to win three Grand Slams, complete his Career Golden Masters in Cincinnati and return to No. 1 in the ATP Rankings. Djokovic is on track to finish year-end No. 1 for the sixth time, which would tie his idol, Pete Sampras, for the most ever.
Tipsarevic lives his life by the ‘keep digging’ motto. The 34-year-old has persevered through seven lower-body surgeries to return to the ATP Tour, winning his first tour-level match in 570 days on Wednesday.
Djokovic was knocked down in a sense, falling outside of the Top 20 less than a year ago. But Tipsarevic says that Djokovic exemplifies the persistence of his ‘keep digging’ motto perfectly.
Listen To Tipsarevic's Interview With ATP Radio:
“He’s the main example. You have people like Novak Djokovic, they don’t need to be taught to think correctly,” Tipsarevic said. “There’s a very famous interview of Novak being seven years old saying, 'I want to be No. 1.' And he doesn’t just say it, you see, I like to call it the blood in his eyes that he’s really willing to do whatever it takes to be No. 1.
“The amount of sacrifice, and I’m watching this from a front-row seat because he’s one of my closest friends, the amount of sacrifice that this guy is putting into his tennis life is incredible. So what he’s doing, he deserves to be, hopefully at one point the best player of all-time.”