Home Sport news Novak Djokovic’s hunt for the Crown Jewel Grand Slam

Novak Djokovic’s hunt for the Crown Jewel Grand Slam

by archysport

Dhe disc jockey at Arthur Ashe Stadium knows his job. He spoils the fans for two weeks when changing sides or after the end of a game, but what is most memorable is of course what he puts on for the winner in the end. On September 9, 2007 he decided on Tina Turner and Simply The Best, the addressee was Roger Federer. The Swiss won his fourth title that evening in New York, the twelfth in a Grand Slam tournament, and when he addressed the strong but hapless opponent in the final, he said that losing in three sets was a bit brutal. “You deserved more.”

This loser was Novak Djokovic, then 20 years old, and despite the defeat in the first big final, he left the impression that he would be seen more often on such occasions in the future. But would anyone have dared to predict in all seriousness that they would one day overtake the master? Well the day is getting closer. If Djokovic wins the US Open the Sunday after next, then with 21 Grand Slam titles he not only has one more than Federer and Rafael Nadal, but will also own something that the big rivals never had and will never have: the Grand Slam, the crown jewel of tennis, consisting of the gems of tournament victories in Melbourne, Paris, Wimbledon and New York, won within one calendar year.

The throne still belongs to Rod Laver

More than half a century has passed since a tennis player was last allowed to adorn himself with this jewel. With a victory in the final of the US Open against compatriot Tony Roche, the Australian Rod Laver repeated as a professional in 1969 the coup he had landed as an amateur seven years earlier. But no man has come near the safe since then. Nine times after that, players won three of the four big titles of the year, including Federer three times and Djokovic himself twice. But it was always clear before the US Open that it would not turn out to be a Grand Slam, because the candidates had made a failed attempt beforehand. In the case of Federer and Djokovic in 2011 and 2015, these were defeats in Paris. Coronation celebrations in New York last took place for Steffi Graf in 88.

It doesn’t take away from Laver’s legendary achievement, but various circumstances made things easier than it is today more than 50 years ago. Three of the four tournaments were played on grass, and even top players sometimes took time out from major tournaments. The Grand Slam of the present demands everything from everyone, so it is worth even more than the historic masterpiece. Djokovic knows that, and it’s one of the reasons this thing would mean so much to him.

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