Novak Djokovic kissed the Wimbledon lawn. He got down on his knees, nodded a few times, and cheered in the direction of his box, where his trainer Goran Ivanisevic clenched his fist.
It was his sixth Wimbledon title, his third in a row. “The past ten years have been an incredible journey that doesn’t stop there. A seven-year-old boy in Serbia once built a Wimbledon trophy with improvised materials. And now he’s here with his sixth title,” said Djokovic in the winner’s interview on Center Court .
Wimbledon: Skupski / Krawczyk holen Mixed-Titel
11/07/2021 AM 19:46
The meaning of this triumph was both to see the number one in the world and to hear in his voice. “Winning at Wimbledon was always a dream for me as a child. Winning here is never a given, it’s something very special,” continued Djokovic.
Grand Slam title: Djokovic draws level with Federer and Nadal
But Djokovic did a lot more this Sunday. With his 20th Grand Slam title, he drew level with his long-term rivals and previous record holders Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
“They are legends of our sport. They are the reason why I am at this point at all. At the beginning of my career I lost to them so often,” the 34-year-old paid homage to the Swiss and the Spaniard after the final.
A little later, Nadal followed suit: “Congratulations Novak Djokovic on this amazing achievement. 20 Grand Slam titles are huge and it’s amazing that we three players are tied with them. Well done and once again congratulations to you and your team! “
The reactions show that the three champions respect each other very much, even if they do not always agree.
Novak Djokovic is targeting the “Golden Slam”
The defeated Berrettini also addressed the dominance of his opponent: “Novak was the better player and deserved to win. That is why he has now made history and is one of the greatest players in tennis history.”
Indeed, Djokovic continues to work on his legend. The 34-year-old is now aiming for an even bigger goal after his Wimbledon victory. After his titles at the Australian Open in Melbourne, the French Open in Paris and now on the sacred turf in London, “Nole” has the chance to write another chapter in tennis history.
With a win at the US Open in New York in September, he could become only the second player to win the men’s Grand Slam after the Australian Rod Laver (1969). If he wins the Olympic Games in Tokyo, he can even be the first man to secure the “Golden Slam”. Previously, only Steffi Graf (1988) was able to do this in the women’s category.
Djokovic set his sights on the perfect season on the court. “I think I can get the Grand Slam. I will definitely try because I’m in great shape. My focus at this point in my career is on playing for Grand Slam titles,” declared number one in the world.
The chance has never been greater. And not because Nadal has already canceled his participation in Tokyo and Federer left it open after his quarter-final on Church Road.
Novak Djokovic celebrates with the winner’s trophy at Wimbledon
Fotocredit: Getty Images
Novak Djokovic sees himself as the best player
Djokovic is currently by far the best player in the world – on all surfaces. He’s been on hard court for years, as evidenced by his record of nine wins in Melbourne. On grass he managed the hat trick at Wimbledon and on clay he not only celebrated his second title in Roland Garros this year, but also his second win against the clay court king Nadal.
But Djokovic is far from full. At 34, he is not only the youngest compared to Federer (39) and Nadal (35), but also by far the most successful in recent years. Federer has been waiting for a Grand Slam title since 2018, whether he will find his strength again after his long injury break is questionable. Apart from the US Open 2019, Nadal has only convinced in Paris in recent years.
Djokovic knows that. “I think I’m the best and I believe in it – otherwise I wouldn’t break any records,” said the Serb at the press conference after the Wimbledon final when asked about the GOAT question, the question about the greatest tennis player of all time.
With triumphs in Tokyo and New York, Djokovic can not only take the lead in the eternal list of Grand Slam record holders for the first time, but also set a monument in the history books with the Golden Slam. And thus clearly steer the GOAT debate in his direction.
“For me Novak is the greatest of all time, he will be the best. I don’t even have to debate that,” said coach Ivanisevic.
Novak Djokovic on the GOAT question with the fans behind
But even if Djokovic should manage to outdo Federer and Nadal, he remains behind with the fans when it comes to the greatest player of all time.
“Novak came to a party, which was the Roger and Rafa party – and he spoiled the game,” Boris Becker once told the “BBC” and made it clear why the Serbian does not have the same sympathy points in the eyes of many fans like his two rivals owns.
There are always boos from the fans when Djokovic is successful. This is probably also due to his emotional freaking out, discussions with the referees and the fact that he also likes to hack a bat from time to time. Only the hearts of the Serbian supporters fly to him in rows.
Viewed objectively, however, his performance is so far on a level with his two long-term rivals. And he can continue writing his own tennis story in Tokyo – if he even competes.
Novak Djokovic kisses the trophy at Wimbledon
Fotocredit: Getty Images
Tokyo 2020: Record-obsessed Djokovic can set a monument
The Serb criticized the announced restrictions for the players during the tournament. Among other things, no family members are allowed to travel to Japan. “That was very disappointing news. Before that, I was hooked,” said Djokovic.
But it is hardly conceivable that he will miss this historic opportunity on the way to a possible Golden Slam. After all, after the cancellation of many top stars, he would start as a huge favorite in Tokyo.
In addition, he would be 37 years old at the next Olympic Games in Paris in 2024. It is questionable whether he will be able to keep his current super form until then and remain injury-free. It may be his last chance at Olympic gold. Nadal won this gold in Beijing in 2008 as well as in doubles in Rio 2016. Federer secured gold in doubles in 2008 and won silver in singles in London in 2012.
Djokovic will have that in mind when he thinks about it. Federer and Nadal will no longer win the Golden Slam. In 2021, the Serb has the unique opportunity to finally answer the GOAT question.
Wimbledon Roundup: This is how Djokovic was crowned champion
20th Grand Slam title! Djokovic draws level with Nadal and Federer
11/07/2021 AM 16:36
Despite the set lead: Schunk missed the junior women’s title at Wimbledon
11/07/2021 AM 16:21