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How Novak Djokovic became the world's best tennis player
Dec 3, 2021, 7:30:00 AM

How Novak Djokovic became the world's best tennis player

Tennis is filled with talented players from all over the world. Novak Djokovic is considered by many as the sport’s best player. He was previously seen as the third wheel in the Big Three but he has reached another level now. Let’s talk about why he’s seen as the world’s top star.

As of December 2021, Nole is already known as one of the best tennis players of all time. He has countless victories in events around the world and he will not stop until he retires. Tennis has a good record of players playing into their 40s and Nole’s competitive fire will likely make him compete for a long time. 

When it comes to the greatest of all-time debate, fellow Big Three members Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal join Nole as the top choices. It is fair to say that all three of them argue for the GOAT title because they have had stints atop the tennis world as the best player. Nole has been the most dominant star over the past few years.

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Nole has always learned from his faults

Nole is one of the most naturally athletic players in the tennis world. He has a good foundation with his defensive style. This has helped him win so many matches because he was fundamentally more refined than his opponents on defence. He was always destined to be a top tennis star but he was a raw prospect back in the day. 

For his entire career, Nole has been recognized as the top player. However, he was not seen as the best player in the world when he started. He was still a fresh face in the tennis scene who showed promise but his potential was still untapped. As his career progressed, he showed his value and proceeded to dominate the tennis world.

Nole proved that he is committed to improving so he can evolve. Both Rafa and Fed were the two most complete players in the world earlier in Nole’s career and he was motivated to compete with his Big Three rivals.

Adversity is difficult to deal with especially in an individual sport like tennis. The sign of an all-time great player is how they handle it. With all the big losses in his career, Nole always finds a way to bounce back. 

While there are times of weakness and frustration, Nole has proven that he can rise again every time. He can’t be counted out of any match and tournament because he always finds a way to emerge as a top star.

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Nole’s forehand has made marked improvements

Earlier in his career, Nole struggled with his forehand. While it was still strong, it paled in comparison to his stellar backhand. As his career progressed, Nole improved to the point that his forehand became world-class as well. That is one of the most difficult progressions to make because tennis players usually stick to their strengths while avoiding their weaknesses.

The backhand is always dangerous when it comes to Nole’s games. He favours the backhand because of his defensive style. However, when he does need to be aggressive, he uses the forehand to surprise the opponent. This is a marked improvement from early in his career when he was only known as a backhand player. 

Nole has always been a stellar returner over the years but when his aggression started to ramp up, the forehand was rarely used early on. Now, his game has evolved to the point where he can use both styles seamlessly.

Nole’s forehand became one of the most feared weapons in tennis in recent years. That is a commendable development after knowing that his backhand was the stronger of the two shots. The forehand shot itself is telegraphed with a windup but it’s still unstoppable. Nole uses his entire body to hit the shot and it shows how consistently powerful the shot is compared to other shots.

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Nole’s serves are world-class

His serve is referred to as a ‘kicker serve’ because of how powerful the shot is to start the set.

His technique is refined to perfection from the ball toss. He loves to throw the ball high up in the air and then he winds up to make a big hit. As his career progressed, Nole improved his windup because his elbow was too low in the past. By switching his elbow to a higher point, his serves became stronger.

Nole’s serve has constantly improved over the years and it’s now one of the most feared in the tennis world. He is the perfect example of how refining serves works in tennis because other players will get used to the old serve but with constant evolution, Nole has proven that he can achieve great success. 

It also helps that Nole values his fitness which makes his serves supreme throughout the match. Even if the match is more than three hours long, Nole’s serve does not waver because he has practised it thousands of times. You can always expect solid quality when Nole is serving.

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Nole’s mindset has become stronger

Back in the day, Nole was seen as an immature player. He was often caught showing frustration by hitting his racket on the ground and screaming whilst on the court. He has matured now and he’s doing well for himself. Nole is known as a composed player nowadays who can pop off during the games.

Nole is considered to be the GOAT by many tennis fans and it’s hard to fault them since he’s been the best ATP Tour player in the world over the past few years.

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Words: Cholo Martin

Image: PA