“Immense Pressure”: Roger Federer’s Former Coach Reveals Obstacles for Novak Djokovic’s Road to ‘Golden Slam’

Published 06/21/2021, 12:42 AM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Men’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 21, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during his final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Novak Djokovic measured up to every expectation in the first two Grand Slam events, in Melbourne Park, and in Roland-Garros. Consequently, the expectations have now risen as the Golden Slam is now on the cards. What can stop the Serbian ace from achieving the ultimate tennis accolade?


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Also, from the remaining three tests – Wimbledon, Tokyo Olympics, the US Open – which would be the most challenging for him? Roger Federer’s former coach, Paul Annacone, answered this while talking to the Tennis Channel.

Read More: “One of the Greatest Mental Feats”: 16-Time Grand Slam Champion Backs Novak Djokovic for Golden Slam


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Annacone explains obstacles in Djokovic’s road to ‘Golden Slam’

A Golden Slam is when a tennis player wins all four Grand Slam titles and an Olympic medal in a year. But to complete this feat in a single year is easier said than done.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 13, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates with the trophy after winning the French Open against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

However, many believe that World No. 1 Novak Djokovic can do this in 2021. Paul stated that the Serbian ace himself would be his toughest obstacle on the road to Golden Slam.

“What I mean by that is the immense amount of pressure,” Paul began. “The more he wins, is more he will know that he wins and more self-imposed pressure he will put on and also more external pressure.”

Furthermore, the American coach added that Djokovic’s unbelievably tough mind would be all the more tested. Yet, he sees no reason due to which the 19 Grand Slam title winner can’t complete the Golden Slam this year.

“But he’s got to stay healthy, and most importantly, the mental component of this game has to be locked up,” Paul explained.

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The US Open will be the toughest and the easiest for Novak Djokovic: Federer’s ex-coach

Paul opened up on how Djokovic’s mental status will play a deciding role in the way forward if he wins Wimbledon and the Olympic Games. That is why he chose the US Open as the toughest tournament for the Serbian ace.

“Because if he can get through the next two, the pressure is going to be off the charts,” Paul said. But he also added that the fewer restrictions and full crowds would indeed make it easier on Djokovic.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 04: Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates a win during his Men’s Singles third round match against Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany on Day Five of the 2020 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 04, 2020 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Even so, Federer‘s former mentor expressed that it would still all depend on how the Belgradian handles his head. “But the immense pressure that is going to in the stratosphere of Novak Djokovic around then, it’ll be fun to see,” the American coach concluded.


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Currently, Djokovic is contesting in the Mallorca Championships, a tune-up tournament for the Wimbledon Championships 2021. After Rafael Nadal‘s withdrawal, does the Serbian has a clear path to win his 20th Grand Slam title in London?


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Also Read: “Couldn’t Plan Anything”: Dominic Thiem Reveals Reason Behind Tokyo Olympics 2021 Withdrawal Following a Tough Season


Purav Joshi

946 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.



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