Novak Djokovic will be statistically the best player in men's tennis history within the next year to 18 months, according to his father Srdjan.
The 33-year-old, who clinched his 18th Grand Slam title this month, moved to within two Grand Slams of the tallies racked up by his great rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who each have 20.
After his ninth Australian Open title, Djokovic is expected to surpass Federer and Nadal over the coming years, despite his latest injury setback sustained en route to glory in Melbourne.
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According to Srdjan, his son will usurp his two rivals within the next year to 18 months, despite Nadal and Federer's favourite Slams, Roland Garros and Wimbledon respectively, coming up next on the major calendar.
"Novak is incomparable," he said in an interview with Kurir.
In the next year, a year and a half, he will be the best in all statistical parameters.
"And when he retires, whatever he does, he will be just as successful as he is in tennis."
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Srdjan also used the interview to express his frustration with sections of the media, including journalists in Serbia, for their portrayal of his son.
"The agony has been going on for 10 years and they have extended it for another year, instead of surrendering nicely and realising Novak is the best in the world and let it go," he said.
"There’s always something wrong, and you journalists in Serbia, ask yourself when you will have such a miracle as Novak [again]. Why don’t you glorify and celebrate him, through his character and work?
"But all the evils are on the front pages and successes are put aside. Why are you transmitting that ugly news stated by journalists from England, why are you transmitting it in our media, let them do what they want and we do what we want.
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"All normal people in the world love him. Have you ever wondered why he plays best in China? He feels love there, real love, they really love him there. They love him there without hesitation, something he has not experienced in the west, nor will he ever experience it.
"He is not only fighting for himself and his interests, but for other tennis players who can barely make ends meet," he continued, with reference to his requests during quarantine ahead of the Australian Open.
"We record something about all of Novak’s nice manners during his entire career, how he says goodbye to the opponent, how he is towards the host, how he extends his hand and kisses the opponent when he loses. Which [other] athlete does that?
"Rarely has he ever received an award for fair play, and you know how many such awards Federer has – about 15."
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