'It is possible': Novak Djokovic eyeing unprecedented 'golden slam'

·4-min read
Pictured here, Novak Djokovic holds the French Open trophy aloft.
Novak Djokovic has now won the first two grand slam titles of 2021. Pic: Getty

Not content with winning a 19th major trophy and becoming the first man since Rod Laver to complete a career Grand Slam for a second time, Novak Djokovic is chasing even more incredible history.

The Serbian star edged closer to Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer's joint-record of 20 grand slam titles after an epic comeback against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final of the French Open.

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Djokovic dug deeper than perhaps ever before in his stellar career, fighting back from two sets down to take out an epic decider 6-7 (6-8) 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4.

Having also clinched the Australian Open earlier in the year - the ninth of his career - Djokovic is halfway towards emulating Laver as the only man in the Open era to achieve the calendar year Grand Slam.

Not only that, Djokovic also has a chance to achieve something no other man in the history of tennis has managed - the 'golden slam'.

That is, winning all four majors plus a gold medal in the Olympic Games all in the same year.

Women's legend Steffi Graf is the only player to have ever achieved the rarest feat in tennis when she won the 'golden slam' in 1988.

Djokovic's coaches Marian Vajda and Goran Ivanisevic joked on Sunday that they'd just quit the game because it sounds impossible.

Yet Djokovic, who came from two sets down to beat Tsitsipas in the Roland Garros final, insisted that "everything is possible".

"I've achieved some things that a lot of people thought would be not possible for me.

"Everything is possible - and I did put myself in a good position to go for the golden slam."

Seen here, Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning his 19th major title at the French Open.
Novak Djokovic's 19th major title also saw him complete the career Grand Slam for the second time. Pic: Getty

Laver never had the opportunity to shoot for all five as tennis wasn't part of the Olympic Games when he ruled, but still no man in the Open era has matched his 1969 calendar slam.

The 'Rocket' tweeted congratulations to Djokovic on his latest success after the Serb joined him and fellow Aussie great Roy Emerson as the only men in history to have won two titles or more at each grand slam.

"Two career Grand Slams @DjokerNole and 19 all up - congratulations on a memorable week in Paris and all the best for the grass," Laver wrote.

World No.1 'chasing' more records

Djokovic recalled that when he was last in a position to go to Wimbledon, holding the first two slams of the year, the Australian and French Opens, in 2016, he lost in the third round to Sam Querrey.

But coach Vajda thinks this could be the year.

"I think it is possible, much more possible," he said.

"He loves to play in Wimbledon and US Open.

"He's healthy right now, he's in great shape.

" I think he has ability to win the grand slam for this year... It's still far away from us, we have to still focus on the next one - but overall he's set up for this year."

Djokovic is the winner of the past two Wimbledons, with last year's event cancelled due to COVID-19.

"I will enjoy this win and then think about Wimbledon in a few days' time," he said.

"I don't have an issue to say that I'm going for the title in Wimbledon.

"Hopefully, I can keep that run going."

If Djokovic did manage the calendar Grand Slam this year, it would give him 21 major trophies, eclipsing the 20 held by Federer and Nadal.

"I never thought it was a mission impossible to reach the grand slams of these guys," Djokovic said.

"I mean, I'm not there - but it's one less.

"But they're still playing, playing great, especially Rafa with his level.

"We all have still opportunities at Wimbledon, all the other slams.

"I'll keep on going. I'll keep on chasing.

"At the same time, I'll keep on paving my own path, my own authentic path."

with agencies

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