HomeTennisNovak Djokovic 'has an advantage' over Sinner and Alcaraz says Grand Slam...

Novak Djokovic ‘has an advantage’ over Sinner and Alcaraz says Grand Slam champion

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Novak Djokovic has yet to win a trophy in 2024, but he remains the man to beat in the upcoming Grand Slam tournaments at Wimbledon and the French Open.

That’s the verdict of Netherlands Davis Cup captain and six-time Grand Slam winner Paul Haarhuis, who believes Djokovic will believe he can come into form when it matters most at the Grand Slam tournaments over the next couple of months.

Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz have been the star performers on the ATP Tour so far this year, but both are struggling with injuries with the French Open now less than two weeks away.

That has inspired Haarhuis to suggest Djokovic is primed to add to his record-breaking haul of 24 Grand Slams, as he spoke exclusively to Tennis365 ahead of his exclusive coaching clinics at the Verdura Resort in Sicily over the course of this year.

“I think Djokovic is probably the favourite for the Grand Slams still for a couple of reasons,” Dutch great Haarhuis told Tennis365.

“First of all, Sinner has not won at the French Open or Wimbledon. He hasn’t shown on grass that he is the main competitor.

“Secondly, Alcaraz has shown this year that he is physically struggling so he is not up to the level that you expect from him where you can say he is the favourite.

“That puts the only one who has done it so many times at the top of the list when you pick a favourite, especially for Wimbledon. So it looks like he has an advantage at the moment.

“Of course, we have a few weeks to Wimbledon and if someone wins Roland Garros, then wins Queen’s and goes into Wimbledon with all the belief and confidence, anything can happen.”

Haarhuis played in an era that featured some all-time greats, with Boris Becker, Roger Federer and Pete Sampras among the legendary names in his career.

His career-high ranking in singles of N0 18 was achieved in November 1995, with his six Grand Slam doubles titles the highlight of his impressive tennis career.

READ MORE: Daniil Medvedev makes ‘vulnerable’ Novak Djokovic claim as he assesses the Serb’s clay-court prowess

The era that followed served up the three greatest male players of all-time and Haarhuis suggests Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have rewritten the rules of tennis during their time at the top.

“It shows how extraordinary the level has been of these three guys by creating what they have created, winning 20 Slam and more is out of this world,” he added.

“The era of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic is a once-in-a-lifetime moment. It’s just astonishing.

“Before we saw Federer, Nadal and Djokovic win everything they have won, the record for Grand Slam wins was 14. What they have done is out of this world.

“This is the first time we have not seen the next generation overtake the guys at the top.

“Federer was winning the big titles to the end of his career and the same with Nadal when he won the Australian Open in 2022.

“Then we look at Djokovic who is nearly 37 and he is still the No 1. The difference for him is he has not faded physically due to injuries.

“Tennis is so lucky to have these three guys. I have been to the Olympics and the only time when there was a buzz in the athletes area was when one of the big tennis players came in or the American NBA stars. Maybe also Usain Bolt.

“Those three were almost every year, the top five best sportsmen in the world. Then you also had Serena Williams who also made the list for sporting greats and tennis has been so lucky to have these champions.

“Maybe before, Agassi or Sampras would have been athlete of the year once and that is why I say these guys have been so great for tennis.

“People in other sports look up to the tennis players and say ‘wow, these guys are Gods’. That has been amazing for our sport.”

Former world No 1 doubles player Paul Haarhuis and eight-time singles winner Francisco Clavet are just two of the big names who are set to deliver a series of exclusive tennis clinics at Sicily’s Verdura Resort in 2024.

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