Khabib Nurmagomedov hails Novak Djokovic as “GOAT” in Dubai preseason meetup

Novak Djokovic stands among the most decorated players of all time, boasting a record number of 24 Grand Slams, 40 Masters 1000 titles, and 7 ATP Finals crowns across a legendary career. Recently, the Serbian star has been preparing for an exhibition game in Dubai, and even fulfilled the dreams of a 13-year-old starlet in the training court.

Novak Djokovic also met other stars in Dubai and famous of them was a former Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter, who has labeled him as the GOAT of tennis in a social media post.

Khabib Numagomedov crosses path with “GOAT” Novak Djokovic in Dubai

Novak Djokovic was seen in a picture with former Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov during his preseason in Dubai. The Serbian had first been having his preliminary practice session at Marbella for weeks but is now in Dubai. The 36-year-old arrived in Dubai earlier this week and is currently undergoing full-fledged training at Atlantis The Royal hotel.

24-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic was with his coaching team, including Goran Ivanisevic and youngster Hamad Medjedovic, turning up at the NAS Sports Complex, where they caught up with some of the elite athletes from the MMA such as Khabib Numagomedov.

Taking to social media, the retired MMA fighter shared a picture of him with the US Open champ, calling Djokic the “GOAT” (Greatest Of All Time).

“With GOAT @djokernole,” Nurmagomedov wrote on Instagram.

Khabib Nurmagomedov retired from MMA in 2021 with an all-time title defense record in the UFC lightweight division. Khabib retired from the sport with an undefeated record of 29 wins in 29 matches, an incredible record from the Russian.

Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic has been preparing for a much-anticipated square-off against Carlos Alcaraz at an exhibition event, after which he will leave at once for the United Cup. The match, would take center stage in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on December 27. Also the match will serve as an added preparation for the 2024 Australian Open. The exhibition event will also witness World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka take on Ons Jabeur on the inaugural day, December 26.

Novak Djokovic set to face Carlos Alcaraz in Saudi Arabia

Novak Djokovic is set to play against Carlos Alcaraz in an exhibition match, in Riyadh on the 27th of December, as part of the Riyadh Season festival. After the clash, Novak Djokovic will head to the United Cup tournament to represent his country while Alcaraz trains indoors. Meanwhile, Ons Jabeur and Aryna Sabalenka will also feature in that exhibition match on December 26.

Novak Djokovic

Gearing up for the match, the Carlos Alcaraz took to X, formerly known as Twitter and wrote, “Heading to Riyadh on December 27 for my match against @DjokerNole! @RiyadhSeason.”

A win for both tennis stars at the exhibition will be crucial for their Australian Open title challenge, which will also feature Rafael Nadal.

Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz have faced each other five times throughout their careers so far. Four of the five matches took place this year, at the French Open, Wimbledon, Cincinnati Masters, and the ATP Finals. Djokovic came out on top thrice and Alcaraz won once in 2023.

Victor Okechukwu

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