The Serena-esque Shadow: What Will The Post-Novak Djokovic Era Look Like?

Since 2015 we have seen 18 female Grand Slam champions but just eight in the men's bracket
08:00, 13 Jul 2023

Having reached yet another semi-final, Novak Djokovic is hoping to secure a record-breaking eighth WImbledon title in the Open Era and a third Grand Slam victory of the year after winning both the Australian Open and French Open.

The Serb has already asserted himself as the record-holder for the most Grand Slam titles with 23, surpassing fellow legends Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, and while Djokovic is 36 and ageing you wouldn’t think it by how he continues to dominate on court.

But there will come a time when his body can’t keep up anymore and this will open the door for an unpredictable future when it comes to Grand Slam champions, with the margins so tight amongst Djokovic’s closest challengers.


We have experienced this in the women’s bracket in recent years with the decline and retirement of Serena Williams. Since 2015, there have been 18 different female Grand Slam champions, which is 10 more than there have been male victors during this period.

Williams was to women’s tennis what Djokovic is to the men, the undisputed greatest of all time. Her last Grand Slam title came at the Australian Open in 2017 and while her powers were weakening with age, she still managed to reach four more major finals before her retirement last year.


Of the 17 Grand Slam winners over the past eight years apart from Williams, only six have won multiple major titles: Angelique Kerber (three), Garbine Muguruza (two), Simona Halep (two), Naomi Osaka (four), Ashleigh Barty (three) and Iga Swiatek (four).

While these players have utilised their skills to impose some dominance on the big stage, such as Swiatek who has already won the French Open three times, Grand Slams on the WTA Tour are considered unpredictable due to how many talented players there currently are. But this once again just highlights Williams’ remarkable ability to dominate with 23 Grand Slams across her illustrious career.

Djokovic hasn't allowed much room for hungry up-and-comers to bask in Grand Slam glory. Since 2015, there have been only three first-time major champions to emerge in Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev and Carlos Alcaraz, all of whom have just one major to their names.

Looking at what happened to the women’s field once age started to catch up with Williams, we are likely to see the same thing happen in the men’s when Djokovic begins to show signs of withering on court. In the nicest way possible, it’ll be good when this happens. The unpredictability of women’s tennis in recent years has been exhilarating to watch and the same will apply in the men’s field.

There is an array of talent waiting in the wings once Djokovic moves out of the picture. Some say there would be a throne up for grabs but there have been no indications as yet that there is a serial Grand Slam champion on the horizon, at least not one who will dominate as Djokovic has done over the years.

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