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Djokovic has his sights set on improving Federer after ATP Finals triumph

Novak Djokovic may not have finished the year at the top of the men’s tennis rankings, but the rejuvenated Serb is undoubtedly the man to beat heading into 2023. Djokovic ended an unprecedented season shocked by his reluctance to get vaccinated against covid-19 by equaling Roger Federer’s record of six. ATP Finals crowns in Turin.

The 35-year-old is ranked No. 5 in the world after he was unable to compete at the Australian Open and US Open this year due to his vaccination status. And ranking points were also not at stake when he sealed his 21st Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in July.

Carlos Alcaraz, the youngest No. 1 in history, has a big job on his hands to outshine Djokovic at the Grand Slams next season. The Spaniard represents the present and future of the sport, but many expect the irrepressible Djokovic to add to his Grand Slam tally at least once next season.

And now just two horses remain in the race for overall Grand Slam victories, with the iconic Big Three winning 63 of the sport’s most prestigious titles in a remarkable period of shared dominance. Rafael Nadal holds the record with 22 Grand Slams, but the Spaniard has been plagued by injuries of late and was unable to add to his monumental win in Melbourne and his 14th French Open triumph.

READ MORE: Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal’s theory explains why Alcaraz has surpassed Tsitsipas

Meanwhile, the relentless Djokovic looks as fresh as ever and could add another plethora of titles to his stacked collection next year as he bids even more to be considered the greatest of all time. Federer, a true icon and perhaps the most visible player on the court, demonstrated at his retirement that the ‘GOAT’ debate is not simply measured by the weight of silverware.

Federer was a true artist on the court and his own 15 years of domination have shut down the debate for some tennis fans, who find it hard to believe that we will see a more talented player again. That Federer has accumulated fewer Grand Slams than Djokovic and Nadal is not conclusive proof that he was not the best player.

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And while we continue to look up to two of the greatest tennis players of all time heading into 2023, there’s a record that could help tip the GOAT debate in Djokovic’s favor. Federer has 103 career titles in his retirement, while Nadal has 92 titles and Djokovic currently has 91 trophies.

The reinvigorated Djokovic won five events in 2022 and will make significant strides in that gap with Federer if he continues to dominate, which he has threatened to do since missing the US Open in September.

And what better place to start than Melbourne Park, the home of their most successful Grand Slam of all. Djokovic is aiming for his tenth Australian Open crown, and will be focused on maintaining his ominous form ahead of another season that he hopes will be fraught with even more success.



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