Novak Djokovic’s 2021 was simply a phenomenal year, destined to go down in history as one of the best ever. The number 1 in the world touched the ‘Calendar Grand Slam’, which would have put an end to any debate related to the GOAT. Should he triumph at the US Open, Nole would become the second man in the Open Era after Rod Laver to win all four majors in the same season. Tension and fatigue played a nasty trick on him in the final in New York, where an impeccable Daniil Medvedev scored his first career Grand Prix. The Serbian returned a couple of months later in Paris-Bercy, taking the 37th Masters 1000 and beating Rafael Nadal in the all-time ranking. The 34-year-old from Belgrade also got off to a good start in the ATP Finals, underway this week in Turin. Thanks to his victories against Casper Ruud and Andrey Rublev, Djokovic secured access to the semifinals one day to spare. Speaking on the Tennis Channel, 22-time Doubles Grand Slam champion Pam Shriver praised Novak’s greatness.
Pam Shriver on Novak Djokovic
“Well, actually Year-End No. 1 in both the men’s and the women’s side counts a ton,” Pam Shriver said. “A lot of players touch No. 1 at some point in the year but finishing a year in No. 1 is really special. Obviously, the 20 Majors singles titles – that sits alongside Roger and Rafa – it’s such a special time. But I think a year at No. 1 after winning Majors it comes in second.” Andy Roddick recently threw his weight behind Novak Djokovic in the GOAT debate. Roddick believes statistical achievements must be given the most importance while evaluating the GOAT, which is why he feels Djokovic has surpassed his rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. “Roger’s one of my dear, dear friends, I have so much respect for Rafa Nadal – I hope they both come back and win Majors,” Andy Roddick said. “But also very clearly, if Novak Djokovic ends his career with the most Grand Slam titles of all time, it is a statistical impossibility to argue against him being the greatest based on numbers, which is what we should base it on off. Seven Year-End No. 1 is another feather in the cap to go along with most Masters 1000, to go with the winning head-to-head against the greatest players of all time,” Roddick added. “So it’s hard to make an argument against Novak at this point. And he’s the one who is in the best form.”