Tennis great exposes ugly truth about Novak Djokovic's Wimbledon win

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·Sports Editor
·3-min read
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Novak Djokovic, pictured here with the trophy after winning his sixth Wimbledon crown.
Novak Djokovic celebrates with the trophy after winning his sixth Wimbledon crown. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)

Aussie tennis great Pat Cash has declared Novak Djokovic's Wimbledon triumph came against "one of the weaker men’s side draws" in recent years.

The World No.1 took another step towards cementing his status as the male GOAT as he earned a record-equalling 20th grand slam at the All England Club.

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Djokovic declared himself as the best player in tennis on Sunday after dousing Matteo Berrettini's fire in a 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-4 6-3 victory in the final.

In doing so, the Serbian superstar equalled the historic slam tally of great rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

But according to Cash, who won Wimbledon in 1987, Djokovic's victory came against one of the weaker male contingents he's seen at the grass-court major for a while.

“Certainly Wimbledon – without disrespecting the other players – was one of the weaker men’s side draws that I’ve seen in many, many years," he told L’Equipe on Tuesday.

“And that’s because we’ve got two of the big stars are coming back from injuries – Andy Murray and Roger Federer – who played well but weren’t at the peak of their career.

“The younger players are coming through, but they’re not quite there yet. 

"And Novak is just sitting on top of that mountain as the king of the castle."

Djokovic only played three seeded players on his march to a sixth Wimbledon crown - Christian Garin (17) Denis Shapovalov (10) and Berrettini (7).

Great rival Nadal opted to skip Wimbledon because of the short two-week turnaround following the French Open.

Pat Cash urges Djokovic to chase Grand Slam, not Golden Slam

Meanwhile, Cash believes Djokovic's priority should now be winning the US Open to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to complete a calendar year Grand Slam.

Djokovic also has the chance to become just the second player in tennis history after Steffi Graf to secure a 'Golden Slam' by winning all four majors and an Olympic gold medal in the same year.

But Cash reckons the Olympics should not be Djokovic's focus.

"This is the year that Novak can really grab the impossible dream – you know it really is, it’s there. The Olympics – okay, maybe he wants to do that," he said.

Pat Cash, pictured here watching the Wimbledon semi-final between Matteo Berrettini and Hubert Hurkacz.
Pat Cash (R) watches the Wimbledon semi-final between Matteo Berrettini and Hubert Hurkacz. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

“But certainly, his goal is now to try and win all four grand slams in the calendar year.

"It’s not easy to do, but I really do think it’s in his sights and that has got to be his priority. It’s the absolute peak of our sport to win all four grand slams.”

After saluting at Wimbledon, Djokovic said he is "50-50" about competing at the Tokyo Olympics following a fan ban and restrictions on the number of people he can take to the Games.

He had previously been vocal about trying to become the first man to win all four slams and Olympic tennis gold in the same year.

But he appeared unsure about a Games tilt after Olympic organisers last week barred spectators from Tokyo venues as a surge in Covid-19 cases forced Japan to declare a state of emergency in the capital city that will last throughout the multi-sport event which starts on July 23.

"I'll have to think about it," Djokovic said.

"My plan was always to go to Olympic Games. But right now I'm a little bit divided. It's kind of 50-50 because of what I heard in the last couple days."

with AAP

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