Novak Djokovic gets verdicts he won’t want to hear ahead of Australian Open

Novak Djokovic has received some predictions for the 2024 season that he won’t want to listen to. The world No 1 has already admitted that he can make next year even better by winning all four Grand Slams and an Olympic gold medal. But both Alex Corretja and Djokovic’s ex-coach Boris Becker don’t think he’ll be able to complete the set and pick up all the big titles. With the Australian Open looming, Djokovic is also bidding to win his 11th title in Melbourne.

Djokovic has a chance to complete the elusive Calendar Golden Slam next year, having failed to do so in 2021. However, two former pros believe that it will only get tougher for the 36-year-old to sweep all of the big titles and can’t see him winning all five.

“I think that would be a little bit surprising [to win a Golden Slam] because even if he improves his game so much, he’s getting older,” Corretja told Eurosport. “It’s normal that he is getting older and the recovery is not the same.

“But at the same time, he’s got the experience and he’s just focused on the important tournaments and the ones that he feels are going to make a difference in his life. I’m sure that he’s going to keep on winning Slams, but it’s going to be tougher and tougher and he knows that.”

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Djokovic has not lost a match at the Australian Open since 2018 when he was struggling with an elbow injury. The Serb is now seeking his 11th crown in Melbourne and his 25th overall Grand Slam title. Even though he is still the favourite, former world No 2 Corretja believes the draw is more open than ever thanks to the quality of Djokovic’s rivals.

Corretja continued: “They’re growing, they’re getting stronger. And mentally, it is pretty much the first time you have players who believe they can do well in a best-of-five Slam, and sustain their level for a long time.

“After three, four matches they were already exhausted. But now I think you have players that they can really cause problems to Novak. And that’s what I think is going to be probably the most open Australian in the last years.”

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Naming some of the threats to the world No 1’s reign in Australia, the Spaniard thought that Sebastian Korda and Ben Shelton could cause a surprise alongside the usual suspects of Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner, Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev, Holger Rune, Andrey Rublev and 2023 runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas. “It’s not going to be any easy to beat them,” Corretja added.

A two-time finalist at the French Open, Corretja isn’t the only one who doesn’t think Djokovic will win all four Majors and Olympic gold in a single year. The Serb’s former coach Becker – who now works with Rune – believes that it is more realistic for the 36-year-old to target a couple of Grand Slams in 2024.

“He will be 37 years old next May, whereas Alcaraz and co. will be better and more experienced,” the six-time Major winner explained. “I think the best thing that can happen for the tennis scene as a whole is for Djokovic to remain strong and for the younger generation to come closer. In other words, I still expect Djokovic to win a Grand Slam or two. But I also believe that Alcaraz and co. will more often throw a spanner in the works.”

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