Novak Djokovic will become the greatest player ever, says defeated Juan Martin del Potro

The super Serb's victory in New York was his third US Open title and his 14th Grand Slam success. (AFP)
Updated 10 September 2018
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Novak Djokovic will become the greatest player ever, says defeated Juan Martin del Potro

  • Argentine says Serb can overall Roger Federer's total of 14 Grand Slam titles.
  • US Open win was Djokovic's second successive Slam success after his victory at Wimbledon.

Juan Martin del Potro is certain Novak Djokovic has what it takes to become the greatest men’s player ever and beat Roger Federer’s current mark of 20 Grand Slam titles.
Djokovic clinched his third US Open title on Sunday with a 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 triumph over Del Potro, taking him level with Pete Sampras’s mark of 14 Grand Slams.
The 31-year-old Serb is now just three behind Rafael Nadal and six back from Federer, and Del Potro is convinced he has what it takes to end up with more Slam successes than both those all-time greats.
“Of course he can,” the Argentine said when asked if Djokovic can claim the record over Federer. “He has 14 already. He won two Grand Slams in one year. He’s healthy. He has a great team working with him.
“Hopefully him, Rafa, Roger will still fight for Grand Slams, because it is so nice to watch them fighting for the history.
“We just do what we can against them. But Novak has everything to make records.”
While not being drawn on whether he could end up with more Grand Slams than Federer and Nadal, Djokovic did credit the deadly duo for making him the player he is today.
“Maybe 10 years ago I would say I’m not so happy to be part of this era with Nadal and Federer,” the 31-year-old said. “Today I really am. I feel like these guys, rivalries with these guys, matches with Federer and Nadal, have made me the player I am, have shaped me into the player I am today.
“I owe it to them.”


A HAT-TRICK OF HOPES: What the UAE and Saudi Arabia should be looking for from their friendly

Updated 20 March 2019
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A HAT-TRICK OF HOPES: What the UAE and Saudi Arabia should be looking for from their friendly

  • Can the Whites and Green Falcons find the back of the net more often?
  • Both teams need to set the tone ahead of the important World Cup qualifiers.

LONDON: Ahead of Thursday’s friendly between the UAE and Saudi Arabia Arab News looks at the main priorities for both sides as they embark on their new eras after the Asian Cup and ahead of the all-important the World Cup qualifiers.

FIND THOSE SCORING BOOTS

For the past 18 months both sides have struggled for goals. Under Alberto Zaccheroni the UAE scored just 10 goals in the past nine matches — five of those coming against lowly Kyrgyzstan and India — and likewise the Green Falcons have also struggled to find the back of the net. Heading toward the World Cup qualifiers, now is the time to find those scoring boots.

PUT ON A SHOW

Both sides have technically gifted players, can keep the ball and at times trouble opposition defenses. But both have been too defensive, too safety-first and, at times, too dull. Football is supposed to be entertainment, and the friendlies ahead of the World Cup qualifiers might be no bad time to throw caution to the wind and see what the players can do in the final third.

SET THE TONE

As the modern cliche goes, a week is a long time in football. With all the sackings and player movements, it is not hard to see the kernel of truth in that overused saying. But, conversely, time can also move very fast in the “Beautiful Game.” It may be six months before the World Cup qualifiers begin, but it will be September before the coaches and players know it. Set the tone and tactics now and triumphs will be easier to come by then and, more importantly, further into the future.