ATP

'Novak will be no exception to the rule' – Simon does not see Djokovic winning many more slams

By Sports Desk June 12, 2023

Novak Djokovic might have won the French Open, but Gilles Simon does not foresee too many more grand slam victories for the world number one.

Djokovic overcame Casper Ruud 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 7-5 at Roland Garros on Sunday to claim his 23rd major title, taking him clear of Rafael Nadal (22).

The Serbian turned 36 last month, however, and speaking before the tournament, former world number six Simon suggested Djokovic must enjoy the major triumphs while they are here.

Simon pointed to the now-retired Roger Federer and Nadal, who will retire next year, as prime examples of top players being unable to retain their level beyond the age of 37.

"There's a lot less serenity and so he's into his own thing," said Simon, speaking to Stats Perform at the Roland-Garros eSeries by BNP Paribas.

"[Djokovic winning the French Open] will stop the GOAT, not the GOAT debate. In fact, it won't stop it, but at least we'll stop talking about this famous number of grand slam records and we'll understand that, in the end, there are those for whom the best player is the best on the court, but he's already the one who has the best stats.

"Of course he doesn't have the easy road in the sense that he has not ten years in front of him. In other words, he's [winning] two more grand slams, maximum. It's not easy, so he better win slams now.

"He does not have time. He's 36, he's struggling and it's easy to see why. Roger, 37 years old, nothing after that. Rafa, 36 last year [37 now], and nothing after that. Novak will be no exception to the rule.

"Rafa, the last grand slam he won (2022 French Open), it was very hard physically. Novak, he's won several grand slams with the adductor tear, elbow, abs, whatever. It's been a long time since they won a slam by rolling over everyone, as they did before."

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