Novak Djokovic’s coach, Marian Vajda, believes his charge belongs in the same league as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal but that talk of who is the greatest of all time would have to wait.
An emotional Vajda described Djokovic’s French Open victory on Sunday as the “sweetest”, rating it even higher than the fact it was coincidentally the Serb’s fourth consecutive grand slam title – a feat that had not been achieved since Rod Laver held all four major titles in 1969.
“This is a lot of time, never achieved since Rod Laver, but the sweetest is that he won the French Open, he hadn’t been able to do it for 10 years and Novak is 29, and when you get older your nerves are not that great. It was maybe the last chance he could win,” said Vajda, who has been Djokovic’s coach since 2006.
“He won already 11 grand slams before this but never the French, this is the best one for me for sure.”
Djokovic is now two slams behind Nadal and five behind Federer and has a legitimate shot of eclipsing both if he keeps up his form.
Asked if he believed Djokovic now was up there with the Spaniard and the Swiss in their place in history, Vajda said: “For sure he’s there, he’s one of the best now for sure. It’s tough to say greatest but according to the grand slams he’s getting close to Federer and close to Nadal. Definitely he is one of the best players and he’ll be considered as that.”
And is Federer’s record of 17 majors on Djokovic’s mind?
“It’s tough to say. This is just a very very special grand slam to win and we’ll see what the future brings. He’s the best player now, and winning the French will give him a boost. I don’t know if he’s thinking about reaching 17, he reached 12 and this is an important time to enjoy,” added the Slovak coach.
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