COMMENT: Is 2021 the year Novak Djokovic left Roger Federer behind?

He has been stealing a march on his long-time rival since 2011, but 2021 is perhaps the year when Novak Djokovic has hurt Roger Federer and his legacy the most?

The evidence is certainly growing, with Djokovic enjoying a stunningly dominant year while an injured Federer feels like he is just starting to slip from the tennis consciousness.

At the start of the year, Djokovic took the coveted most weeks at world number one record from Federer, and he has held it too. Djokovic has an astounding 337 weeks atop the ATP rankings – 27 more weeks than the also seriously impressive 310 weeks amassed by Federer.

Djokovic then managed to do what Federer has been unable to do despite multiple attempts – achieve the Double Career Grand Slam with his victory at Roland Garros. Novak is now the only player to have won all four majors at least twice.

Finally, although Novak started the year with 17 Slams to Roger’s 20, with his 6th Wimbledon title, the Serb drew level with the Swiss.

Now into the Quarter Finals of the US Open, Djokovic has the chance to not only surpass Federer in perhaps the most coveted record of them all by winning his 21st Major, but to do what no man has been able to since 1969 – achieve the Calendar-Year Grand Slam. That would surely end the GOAT debate. Or would it?

Federer’s diehard fans refuse to believe it’s over, and reasonably so. After all, the Swiss ace has not retired and has stated that he is keen to come back to the tour in 2022 following his third knee surgery.

Many avid and casual tennis fans also argue that Federer’s ‘effortless’ style of play, his appeal across the globe, and his suave and sophisticated off-court style make him the greatest of all time.

There is no denying that Federer is tops when it comes to popularity. He is also the first tennis player to amass more than $1billion through sponsorship deals and endorsements over the past two decades.

That is a serious amount of money, and testimony to the fact that Roger’s popularity knows no bounds. He has certainly done a huge amount to make the sport so popular. Isn’t that enough?

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic Laver Cup

Djokovic’s fans – the fiercely loyal Nolefam – beg to differ. Their compelling argument is that the amount of prize money amassed is more important than sponsorship deals, and Djokovic is the leader in that department with a whopping $152million won through tournament victories.

Tennis is about winning tournaments rather than sponsorship deals, after all? Federer has, by comparison, earned an almost as impressive $130million.

The truth of the matter, of course, is that there are still some chapters to be written.

If anyone can storm back after a long injury lay-off to add to his enviable collection of glittering trophies and titles, it’s Roger Federer.

If anyone will take him – and his adoring crowds – on to create more history of his own, it’s Novak Djokovic.

We’re here for it – whichever way it goes.

Please follow Tennisbuzz on Twitter and Instagram, and you can like us on Facebook by clicking here.

For more exclusive content from Tennisbuzz, including news, features, trivia, promotions and more, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter below or via our home page.

Why not test your tennis knowledge by tackling one of our fiendish quizzes too?

Other News

Alexander Zverev blows Hurkacz away to land semi final spot

All Alexander Zverev needed was a win over his opponent to secure his place in the semis of the ATP Finals and he did...

Norrie not sorry despite losing to Ruud in debut ATP Finals match

Cameron Norrie provided thrills and spills in a late-night entertainer on his ATP Finals debut but couldn't get the win.Casper Ruud, who lost his...

Novak Djokovic through to semis after schooling Andrey Rublev

The World Number One, looking for his sixth ATP Finals crown, made light work of Andrey Rublev in his second Round Robin match with...

Rising Italian gives home crowd cause for cheer

Italian supporters at the ATP Finals - being held in its new home of Turin for the first time - were given something to...

Daniil Medvedev edges clash of the heavyweights

Two of the most in-form players of the year battled it out in Turin on Day 3 of the ATP Finals with the World...

Down but not out, Stefanos Tsitsipas vows to step it up

The 2019 ATP Finals champion, Stefanos Tsitsipas, was given a wake-up call by Andrey Rublev in his first match at this year's tournament but...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Don't miss a thing from Tennisbuzz - get all the latest tennis news, exclusive content and competitions, and tennis trivia teasers all delivered to your inbox.

Related articles

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here