By Tim Siekman and Daan de Ridder
Nov 22, 2023 at 10:49 AM Update: 9 minutes ago
Tallon Greek Spoor was close to a sensational victory over Novak Djokovic three weeks ago. The best tennis player in the Netherlands hopes for a new chance against the number one in the world at the Davis Cup Finals.
After their beautiful battle of almost three hours on the indoor court of the Accor Arena, Greek Spoor received a nice compliment from Djokovic in the locker room. “He told me that I deserved to win,” says the 27-year-old Haarlemmer in conversation with NU.nl.
Greek Spoor had long dreamed of a stunt against the tennis legend from Serbia in the eighth finals of the Masters tournament in Paris. But after three hard-fought sets it was simply Djokovic who took control of the match: 4-6, 7-6 (2) and 6-4.
“I watched the match again and I think I did very little wrong,” says Greekpoor. “It feels like I missed a great opportunity to beat Djokovic, I was close. But it is extremely difficult to beat him. In my opinion, he is the best tennis player ever.”
The fact that Greek track can now push the 24-time Grand Slam winner to the limit shows his great progress in 2023. At the beginning of March, the Dutchman still had no chance against Djokovic at the Dubai hard court tournament (2-6 and 3-6).
“I think that with that competition in Paris I showed that I can now compete with the absolute top,” says Greek Spoor. “And that my good performances this season were not something one-off.”
Quarter-finals Davis Cup Finals
Tuesday: Canada-Finland 1-2
Wednesday 4:00 PM: Czech Republic-Australia
Thursday 10am o’clock: Italy-The Netherlands
Thursday 4:00 PM: Serbia-Great Britain
The Dutch team consists of Tallon Greekpoor, Botic van de Zandschulp, Gijs Brouwer, Wesley Koolhof and Jean-Julien Rojer.
Greek track rose 75 places in the world rankings
For Greek Spoor, 2023 is the year of his final breakthrough. The late bloomer rose in the world rankings from 96th to 21st place, won his first two ATP tournaments (in Pune and Rosmalen, India) and was among the seeded players at Grand Slams and Masters tournaments for the first time.
“There is still plenty of room for improvement. I want to do better at the biggest tournaments next year,” says Greekpoor. “But all in all it was a very good season with many highlights. I am very happy with my development.”
The current number 23 in the world traveled to Málaga with confidence for the final week of the Davis Cup. In the quarter-finals of the prestigious national competition, Greek Spoor will play with the Dutch team against Italy of leader Jannik Sinner on Thursday.
With a victory over the Italians, captain Paul Haarhuis’ team will equal the best result of a Dutch Davis Cup team with a place in the semi-finals. But that is not enough for Greek Spoor. “I want to win the Davis Cup,” he says. “Of course that will be very difficult. But if that is not my goal, I would have been better off staying at home.”
Greek Spoor therefore has no fear of a possible semi-final battle against Serbia. In fact, he sincerely hopes that leader Djokovic’s formation will settle the score with Great Britain in the quarter-finals. “It would be great if I get another chance to beat Djokovic. And why couldn’t it work this time?”
Greek Spoor is aiming for top ten
After the Davis Cup Finals, Tallon Greek Spoor will have no more matches for a while before traveling to Australia during the Christmas period for the start of the new season. The Dutchman wants to take the next step to the top in 2024.
“If you ask me honestly, I’m going to play to get into the top ten of the world rankings,” he says. “I don’t know whether I will make it, but that is what I train for. I think I can mainly improve by being consistent week in, week out. The good boys never drop below their basic level. That has to be the case. also be my goal for next year.”