‘This man is the undisputed GOAT now’: Djokovic fans elevate him among greats as Federer pays tribute after Wimbledon win
The Serbian ace achieved the feat by winning Wimbledon for the sixth time in his glittering career, overcoming Italy’s Matteo Berrettini 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-4 6-3.
After clinching the Australian and French Opens earlier this season, the 34-year-old is now looking at completing a Calendar Grand Slam by coming out on top at Flushing Meadows in the US Open in September, and may even seek gold in Tokyo at the Olympic Games.
Showing respect to his generational rivals at SW19, Djokovic said: "I have to pay tribute to Rafa and Roger, they are legends of our sport and they are the two most important players that I ever faced in my career."
"They are the reason that I am where I am today. They helped me to realize what I need to do in order to improve."
Taking to Twitter, Swiss icon Federer congratulated him on his 20th major.
"I'm proud to have the opportunity to play in a special era of tennis champions. Wonderful performance, well done!," he added.
Congrats Novak on your 20th major. I'm proud to have the opportunity to play in a special era of tennis champions. Wonderful performance, well done!— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) July 11, 2021
Even more touching as this mutual respect though was how the Djokovic treated a young fan in the stands.
Spotting her in the crowd, Djokovic gave the "cutest girl in attendance" what is now an historical artefact in his tournament-winning racquet.
Back on social media, the debate raged as to Djokovic's standing among the greats of the game.
"What an athlete," one supporter beamed.
"He's finally tied with his rivals. Sorry to all the "fans" who argued that he won't be [the] greatest because he won't have as many slams as the other two, but all they have now is bullsh*t. This man is the Undisputed GOAT now."
Novak Djokovic!! What an athlete 20th Grandslam.Finally tied with his rivals.sorry to all the "fans" who argued that he won't be greatest because he won't have as many slams as the other 2 but all they have now is bs.This Man is the Undisputed GOAT now. pic.twitter.com/KTvjET5oiM— Ayush (@Iusss_12) July 11, 2021
"There are no more arguments against Novak Djokovic's GOAT claim," said another, more emphatically.
"The GOAT debate is over."
THERE ARE NO MORE ARGUMENTS AGAINST NOVAK DJOKOVIC’S GOAT CLAIM. THE GOAT DEBATE IS OVER. 🐐 pic.twitter.com/lIr1TdgAvN— ²⁹ (@clinicalkai) July 11, 2021
"History at Wimbledon," started another tribute post.
"6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3. [A] typical Djoker template. [He] gives you a glimmer of hope only to decimate you."
"Sixth Wimbledon title, third in a row. Twentieth Grand Slam title, level with Federer & Nadal.
"The Beast. The Monster. The Mean Machine. Novak Djokovic."
HISTORY AT #Wimbledon6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3. Typical Djoker template. Gives you a glimmer of hope only to decimate you.•6th Wimbledon title, 3rd in a row•20th Grand Slam title, level with Federer & Nadal.The Beast. The Monster. The Mean Machine. Novak Djokovic. #GOATpic.twitter.com/4D20YaLP6f— Srini Mama (@SriniMaama16) July 11, 2021
As suggested, Djokovic can perhaps pip ahead of his two rivals with a win at the US Open, and end one of the best years of his professional life with a 21st major crown to his name to settle the debate for once and for all.
Or just for now at least.