Former tennis player and captain of the US Davis Cup team Patrick McEnroe says Novak Djokovic could win another “four or five” grand slams before he retires.
The Serbian equaled Rafael Nadal’s record for most men’s grand slams after winning his 22nd title at the Australian Open on Sunday and looked pretty much unstoppable for most of the tournament.
“I think he can win four or five more,” McEnroe told CNN’s Amanda Davies. “It looks like he’s as healthy as ever.
“He’s the favorite at three out of four [grand slams] for the next, I’d say probably two years.”
McEnroe says “all is now right again in the men’s tennis world” after Djokovic returned to the world No. 1 spot for a record-extending 374th week.
Sunday’s victory was his 10th Australian Open triumph, which made him only the second man to win more than 10 titles at a single major.
While fans have become accustomed to watching Djokovic lift trophies, the Serbian’s emotional reaction to winning in Melbourne has generated plenty of comment.
The 35-year-old sobbed on court while celebrating with friends and family, later telling reporters that he had experienced an “emotional collapse.”
It comes after a difficult 12 months for the Serbian which began when Djokovic was unable to defend his title last year after being deported from Australia in 2022 over his Covid-19 vaccination status.
He was then banned from playing in the US Open – again due to his vaccination status – as he found himself at the center of a global news story.
‘Chip on his shoulder’
McEnroe says he thinks Djokovic is still playing with a “big chip on his shoulder” after all the controversy, which has helped make him an even bigger threat on tour.
“I think he played as well as he’s ever played, which is amazing at 35 years old,” added McEnroe, who was a singles semifinalist at the Australian Open in 1991 and a doubles winner at the French Open in 1989.
“To think that this guy is just getting better and even when he won the title, you saw him point to the head, point to the heart, even then he was still stoic.
“But as soon as he went up to his family and his coaches in that player box, all the emotions came out.”
McEnroe isn’t the only person predicting more success for Djokovic.
Australian star Nick Kyrgios said on Twitter that the Serbian “will get to 28 slams easy” after watching him beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets on Sunday.
If Djokovic does add more grand slam titles to his current tally, he will further stake his claim for being the best player in the history of men’s tennis.
That debate also includes the like of Nadal, who is currently level on grand slam wins with Djokovic, and Roger Federer, who retired after winning 20 grand slams.
Despite saying it was too early to call Djokovic as the greatest of all time, McEnroe said you could argue that Djokovic has the edge.
“His domination across the services has been a little bit wider than both those two legendary players,” he said.
“He’s also got a better head-to-head against both of them and better in the other big tournaments but there’s still a lot of tennis to be played.”
If he stays fit, Nadal will be favorite to add to his trophy cabinet at the season’s next grand slam at Roland Garros; a title he has won 14 times.
But Djokovic would then be the man to stop at Wimbledon and would be favorite again at the US Open should authorities permit him to play this year, according to McEnroe.