Last Updated on 27 December 2023
Novak Djokovic will have a fantastic 2024 and might even complete the calendar Grand Slam and add a gold medal at the Olympics, according to retired British tennis star Tim Henman. The former world number four predicts that Djokovic will start the year strongly with an 11th Australian Open title and continue to dominate for the rest of the year.
Djokovic enjoyed one of his best seasons in 2023, winning three Grand Slams and triumphing in the ATP World Tour Finals. In doing so, he surpassed Rafael Nadal’s 22 Grand Slam victories. The 3-2 Wimbledon defeat at the hands of Carlos Alcaraz was the only blemish in an otherwise perfect season for the Serbian tennis dynamo, who has now won 24 career Grand Slams, an all-time record.
No Longer in Nadal and Federer’s Shadow
Henman was surprised that Djokovic could play that well at 36, saying he was better than ever. Henman thought Djokovic’s performances in 2023 were “absolutely staggering,” adding Djokovic deserved a lot of credit for what he was doing and that despite his age, he surely had “the hunger and desire” to keep on winning.
Henman added that Djokovic had to compete with two of the best tennis players in history for most of his career. However, now that he was no longer in Federer or Nadal’s shadow, Henman thought Djokovic could relax and play his absolute best.
The tennis commentator said Djokovic “desired” to be in this position for very long and it was evident he was enjoying it, as he was playing with a lot of freedom. For the first time after a very long period, he could stop thinking about the number of Grand Slam wins or obsess over how many weeks he was at No. 1 and focus playing on the tennis he loves.
Djokovic Will Be the Man to Beat in 2024
After winning the Australian Open as many as ten times, more than any other player in history, Henman was convinced Djokovic would be the man to beat in Melbourne at the start of 2024 too. The BBC tennis commentator said the best way to start the year was to win in Australia and that Djokovic would give his all to take the first Grand Slam of the year.
Unlike other analysts and commentators who thought the defeat to Alcaraz signified the “changing of the guard,” Henman thought “it couldn’t have been further from the truth.”
In Henman’s opinion, Djokovic played phenomenally well for the rest of the year after that defeat and his speed, balance, ball-striking and consistency were second to none. So, in Henman’s mind, there was no doubt that Djokovic was the favourite for the 2024 Australian Open.