It wasn’t that long ago the ATP Tour was dominated by the Big 4 of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray, who won nearly every major and Masters 1000 event between them for more than a decade.

One of those players, Federer, is retired now, and two of them, Murray and Nadal, have seen injuries take their toll on the later stages of their respective careers.

Still going? Djokovic. In fact, he’s not only going but thriving—he’s coming off one of the best years of his illustrious career—at 36, no less.

He’s seemingly outlasted his greatest rivals. Is time his greatest remaining challenger? That’s the biggest question arguably in the sport after a campaign that saw him win three out of four majors, triumph at the year-end championships, claim multiple Masters 1000 titles, and finish atop the final standings a staggering eighth time.


At the ATP Finals, Djokovic said he couldn’t even call this past campaign the best of his career. It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Serbian superstar, who had a handful of losses against young players in the Top 10. But with the exception of Davis Cup, he was able to exact revenge upon those challengers—such as his epic victory against Carlos Alcaraz in Cincinnati after the Spaniard denied him a third straight major weeks prior at Wimbledon.


While he’s won more tournaments in other seasons in dominating fashion, this year might have been Djokovic’s best from a mental standpoint, evidenced by how he performed right from the start in Australia—a year after getting deported—as he went undefeated Down Under. Leading up to Roland Garros, he only went 5-3 across three events on the dirt before claiming his third career Roland Garros crown. And he was able to pull off multiple escape acts throughout the year.

With the 2024 season fast approaching, Djokovic will once again be the hunted, with perhaps more eager young challengers than he’s ever had to fend off before. Time does eventually catch up to everyone, and at this stage of his career, it might be his greatest opponent.