In 1962 and 1969, tennis legend Rod Laver did something no other player has done even to this day. Now, at 36 years old, Novak Djokovic is attempting to do just that thing: Win the Calendar grand slam.
This mission isn’t new to him. In fact, he’s been one match short, and in three different years, he’s won all three slams.
On two of those occasions, Djokovic lost the French Open. This year, he’s already won that and is now halfway there.
Witnessing greatness: Can Novak Djokovic capture the Calendar Grand Slam?
In 2021 Djokovic headed into the US Open with a record of 34-3 and three straight slams. He was far and away the best player on tour throughout that year and the ATP ranking reflected that, as his ranking never changed. Djokovic rode a hot streak all the way to the U.S Open finals where he stunningly fell three sets short to Daniil Medvedev.
Now, two years later, Djokovic has a chance at redemption, and perhaps this time, it’s more likely.
For starters, the Serbian has already navigated through the toughest part, winning the French Open, his least-liked tournament of the four, and his most difficult surface. Then, as he usually does, Djokovic won’t compete in any of the Wimbledon tune-ups, keeping himself mentally and physically healthy for the grass tournament.
He will also feel motivation to win this event, given that he is still one back from the all-time Slam leader which is held by tennis legend Margaret Court. It also doesn’t hurt that he has won Wimbledon seven times, including three times in the last four years.
Yes, the US Open may present some difficulties. We can’t forget about the hard-court abilities of Daniil Medvedev or recent US Open champion Carlos Alcaraz. And yes, it is also true that Djokovic has only won three times at this event. However, it is also true that he has made it to the finals nine different times.
Novak Djokovic is still the best player in the world and I think we were reminded of that this past week. Experience and mentality go a long way and there’s no one that’s more capable of capturing this than Novak Djokovic.
Can he do it? Time will tell. Remember, Djokovic’s considered the greatest for a reason. Never count him out.