Novak Djokovic is still the man to beat in men’s tennis and now the talk will switch to how long he can remain the dominant force at the top of the game.
Djokovic emphatically gained revenge over Jannik Sinner to win a record-breaking seventh ATP Finals crown in Turin.
Five days after losing to Sinner in the group stage, Djokovic was in ruthless form from the outset as he lost just two points on serve in winning the opening set 6-3 in 38 minutes.
The world number then raced into a 2-0 lead in the second before Sinner saved three break points in the third game to bring the contest to life.
Roared on by the partisan crowd, Sinner finally got to grips with the Djokovic serve and forged two break points in the sixth game, only for the Serbian to save both and maintain his advantage.
Sinner held serve in a marathon seventh game but, after Djokovic did likewise to lead 5-3, the match ended on an anticlimactic note with a Sinner double fault.
Such was his dominance that Amazon Prime analysts Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski turned their thoughts to how many more titles Djokovic can win as he continues to show no weakness at the top of the sport.
Former British No. 1 Henman made the boldest prediction, as he suggested Djokovic could continue to hold all the aces in the men’s game for the next three years, as he suggested the Serbian could take his Grand Slam title haul from its current record-breaking total of 24 to a stunning final total of 30.
“I don’t think he will still be playing in five years,” said Henman. “The challenges of staying injury-free get harder and harder.
“I definitely feel he could play for another three years and the factor that is out of his hands is how long will he have his speed of movement.
“The technical abilities will always be there, but inevitably time will catch up with him and when you get half a step slower, that will affect his performance.
“But if he plays for another three years, I think he will win a couple of Slams a year and that will take him to 30, which would be amazing.”
Henman’s fellow former British No 1 Rusedski was less optimistic for Djokovic, as he believes another four major titles may be the best he can hope for.
“I think we have seen the guys who will be the top three players in the world and that will be Jannik Sinner, Carlos Alcaraz and Holger Rune,” said Rusedski.
“At the moment, he is the greatest of them all and the greatest of all time. He is the best athlete in the world right now and I feel he will win at least four more Grand Slam titles, taking him to 28.”
Djokovic told Henman in an Amazon Prime interview that he feels he is playing the best tennis of his career and described his final two matches at the ATP Finals against Alcaraz and Sinner as his best of 2023.
That was quite a statement following a year that saw Djokovic win three major titles and only lose out on a calendar Grand Slam after losing the fifth set of an epic Wimbledon final against Alcaraz in July.
Henman and Rusedski may have picked out the number of major titles they feel Djokovic will reach by the end of his career, but on the evidence of what we have seen in 2023, he is the favourite to win all four major heading into the New Year.