It was Nick Kyrgios that summed it up the best.
“Novak Djokovic is obviously superhuman. He is an alien from another planet,” the Aussie said in commentary for the Tennis Channel.
After watching the world No. 1 blow Jannik Sinner away in the ATP Tour final on Monday morning in Turin there are few who would dispute Kyrgios’ call.
At 36 years old Djokovic has racked up a host of new records this season, taking his Grand Slam tally to 24 and finishing top of the year-end world rankings for the eighth time.
Tennis fans have been left wondering when the Serb will relinquish his tennis dominance.
The answer is no time soon, in the eyes of Kyrgios and American tennis greats Andy Roddick and Jim Courier.
Djokovic will clock a 400th week at world number one when the rankings update this week and he heads into 2024 with thumping wins over Sinner and vanquished semi-finalist Carlos Alcaraz.
“Very special, one of the best seasons I’ve had in my life, no doubt. To crown it with a win against a home town hero in Jannik, who has played amazing tennis all week, is phenomenal,” said Djokovic.
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“I’m very proud of the performances of the last two days against Alcaraz and Sinner, who are probably the two best players in the world, next to me and Medvedev at the moment. The way they have been playing I had to step it up.”
Sinner was bidding to become the first ever Italian to win the Finals and looked like the right man to do it after his impressive group stage win over Djokovic.
But the 22-year-old, like Alcaraz in Saturday’s semi, simply could not handle Djokovic, a man on a mission who hit his best form at exactly the right time in the tournament.
It is a testament however to how far Sinner, a four-time winner this year, has come in the past year that he had Djokovic’s tournament fate in his hands at the end of the group stage, when defeat by Holger Rune would have sent the Serb home early.
He must surely be regretting that decision not to tank.
Djokovic showed with his red-line power hitting that there are levels to his game that nobody can touch.
Veteran tennis journalist Mike Dickson posted on Twitter: “For a brief period in the second set Djokovic looked mortal, otherwise untouchable in winning the ATP Finals 6-3 6-3 over Jannik Sinner”.
It’s why Kyrgios, Courier and Roddick are all predicting Djokovic to be crowned king of Melbourne Park — yet again — at the Australian Open in January.
“It’s my same boring prediction. I’m just not going to bet against Novak Djokovic,” Roddick said of the 2024 Australian Open.
Kyrgios responded by saying: “Boring prediction from me as well. He’s so comfortable in Australia. After last year he was basically untouchable. He’s showing no signs of slowing down.”
When asked after the match what he is still playing for, Djokovic’s answer will be a hammer blow to those thinking age will eventually be his down fall.
Asked what else he can accomplish in tennis, Djokovic joked: “Well, you can win four Slams and Olympic gold”.
“I have always the highest ambitions and goals. That’s not going to be different for the next year, that’s for sure. The drive that I have is still there,” he added.
“Motivation, especially for the biggest tournaments in sport, is still present… For me, obviously those are Grand Slams and Finals, and next year hopefully also Olympic Games.” The Olympics take place over July 26-August 11 in the French capital, starting less than a fortnight after Wimbledon and finishing shortly before the US Open.
It is a major career goal sandwiched into an already long, draining season, one which will take its toll on all the top players let alone one heading towards his late 30s.