With the prospect of a calendar Grand Slam, Novak Djokovic could officially become the greatest tennis player of all time at the end of the US Open.
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have dominated men’s tennis for eighteen years. They are tied having each won 20 Grand Slam titles. Better still, all three of them have won each of the four major tournaments (Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, US Open) on the circuit. But none has yet achieved the calendar Grand Slam, that is to say to win in the four competitions in the same year.
In this year 2021, Novak Djokovic is the only one in contention to succeed the Australian Rod Laver, last winner of the men’s calendar Grand Slam to date, in 1969. In the history of tennis, only two players (Laver twice and Donald Budge) achieved it, only one of which since the open era (amateurs and professionals allowed to participate in all tournaments since 1968). Among women, they are only three, the last being the German Steffi Graf in 1988.
Novak Djokovic has already won the four major tournaments in a row… but not in the same year. He achieved this feat between Wimbledon 2015 and Roland-Garros 2016, creating the expression of “Djoko slam”. Already a three-time winner at the US Open, the Serbian will have the opportunity to make history this year. The tournament begins this Monday in New York and, in the absence of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, both injured, the challenge is well within his reach.