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Plant-based tennis ace Novak Djokovic is on course to become the greatest player of all time, according to a sporting pundit.

The Serbian athlete picked up his 17th grand slam title on Sunday night, winning the Australian Open, in a five-set match against Dominic Thiem.

Grand slam titles

Swiss player Roger Federer has 20 grand slam titles, with Spaniard Rafael Nadal close with 19.

At 38-years-old, Federer is closer to retirement than Djokovic, who is just 32. Nadal is 33, but has struggled with injuries in recent years – admitting that knee and other problems left him suffering an ‘internal crisis’ last year – though he ended the year as world number one.

Sports pundit

According to Mats Wilander – three-time Australian Open champion and Eurosport pundit – Djokovic is now favorite to scoop the Wimbledon and US Open titles, if not more – which could mean ending 2020 with a total of 19 grand slam victories or more.

“When Novak gets an Australian Open he usually has a good year,” said Wilander. “So winning here, does that make him the favorite at Wimbledon where he is defending? Yes [and] that’s 18. [It] makes him the favorite at the US Open, that’s 19.

“At the end of the year, we could have two players on 20 or two on 19 or even more because Novak had can win all four. This is a huge win for him going forward. A loss here would have been very difficult to get confidence and come back.

“But the door is open for him to start climbing through it and talk about being the greatest ever.”

Plant-based athlete

Djokovic has publicly spoken out about the benefits of a plant-based diet, opening up about it in a post-match conference during Wimbledon 2019 – which he went on to win.

He credited his regime for faster recovery times – and explained why he doesn’t like to be called vegan.

“I don’t like the labels, to be honest. I do eat plant-based (food), for quite a few years already,” he said. “But because of the misinterpretations of labels and misuse of labels, I just don’t like that kind of name. I do eat plant-based. I think that’s one of the reasons why I recover well. I don’t have allergies that I used to have any more. And I like it.”

Speaking about his role as an executive producer on plant-based sports documentary The Game Changers, he said: “It is about how this diet affects the world, not just personal health, but also sustainability, ecology, animals,” Djokovic revealed. “This is what I care about so I’m really privileged to be part of that team.”

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the editor of Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle.