Novak Djokovic broke the hegemony of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, taking several records from his eternal rivals. The Serbian champion came close to the ‘Calendar Grand Slam’ in 2021, but his dream was shattered one step away from the finish line. Nole surrendered to Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final, unable to handle the enormous pressure on his shoulders. 2022 did not start as well for the ‘Djoker’, who paid a heavy price for his choice not to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus. In addition to not being able to defend the title at the Australian Open, the 35-year-old from Belgrade also suffered serious damage to his image. Novak did not go beyond the quarterfinals at Roland Garros, before redeeming himself on the grass of Wimbledon. Goran’s protege Ivanisevic has posted his 21st Grand Slam, shortening the gap that separates him from Rafael Nadal in the all-time ranking. In a long conversation on the Tennis Channel, Jimmy Arias said Stan Wawrinka was the only player capable of overpowering Djokovic from the baseline. The Swiss lost 20 of 26 head-to-head matches with Nole, but beat him in two Grand Slam finals (Roland Garros 2015 and US Open 2016).
Jimmy Arias opens up on Djokovic
“I went with Stan as well because of the 3 Majors and the fact that he absolutely crushes that backhand with incredible pace,” Jimmy Arias said, adding, “When he’s on, he’s the one guy I’ve ever seen that can overpower Novak Djokovic in baseline rallies. With forehand, backhand Djokovic has nothing that he can do when Stan was on in those finals.” Arias also called Roger Federer’s one-handed return the best among the lot. “Dominic Thiem again, huge backhand from anywhere,” he stated. “Richard Gasquet, I almost feel as if I should put him at one because his return. Those two guys, Stan and Thiem, get behind on the points with their return of serve. Gasquet’s is a little bit better, he’s not as behind in points off his backhand return, which is why we’re going back we can’t say Federer. I actually like Federer’s the best because he’s the one returner with one hand that stays at least neutral. It’s incredible in a lot of ways,” Arias said. Rafa has won 22 grand slam titles and leads the count, followed by Djokovic at 21. Djokovic’s journey toward equalizing the score might end this year because of his vaccination status. It debars him from entering the US.