“Lots of Things That Can Go Wrong”: Rod Laver Believes Novak Djokovic Shouldn’t Talk About Calendar Slam

Published 08/29/2021, 11:24 PM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis – Men’s Singles – Bronze medal match – Ariake Tennis Park – Tokyo, Japan – July 31, 2021. Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts during his bronze medal match against Pablo Carreno of Spain REUTERS/Mike Segar


High entertaining drama is about to grace the courts of New York. The iconic US Open 2021 will soon kick-start a 2 week-long journey, with a star-studded lineup heading the enthralling battles. Notably, as all gear up to fight for the title, one man’s ambitions surpass the others’. Novak Djokovic begins his tournament, aiming for the historic Calendar-Year Grand Slam.

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World No. 1, Novak Djokovic has played some of his best tennis this year and he has the titles to show for it. Courtesy of his form and consistency, he is now on the verge of etching his name in the history books of the sport. Novak begins his US Open journey, aiming for success to become the first player in men’s tennis to win the Australian Open, the French Open, the Wimbledon Championship, and the US Open, all in one season, since 1969.

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Ahead of his iconic campaign, Rod Laver, who is still remembered 52 years after he won the Calendar Grand Slam twice, looks forward to welcoming Novak to his elite club. However, understanding the high stakes, he details what could go wrong for the Serbian.

As tough as it gets

Rod Laver is one of the most legendary players to have ever graced this sport. The fact that even half a century later, his heroics are remembered and recalled, is a testament to his greatness. However, as Novak Djokovic prepares to join him in the history books, Rod had a few words to say.

Explaining the high stakes here, he said, “I never said I was going for a Grand Slam; that’s pressure right there. And Djokovic, I think he wants to talk about it, and so that could be a detriment if there is one.” 

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis – Men’s Singles – Round 2 – Ariake Tennis Park – Tokyo, Japan – July 26, 2021. Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after winning his second round match against Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany REUTERS/Mike Segar

“He knows all the players, so there shouldn’t be any problem with [that]. … I think pressure is the one thing Djokovic may find himself having problems [with]. Maybe he’s not feeling well. There’s lots of things that can go wrong,” he concluded.

WATCH STORY: A Look Inside Novak Djokovic’s $10million Mansion in Spain

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Can Novak Djokovic win the Calendar Grand Slam?

Novak Djokovic has been in fine form throughout this season. Playing at his lethal best, he triumphed in both Sydney and Paris. Carrying forward to his consistency, he also won the 2021 Wimbledon Championship. However, just when he seemed unstoppable, the world witnessed shocking scenes at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

TOKYO, JAPAN – JULY 31: Novak Djokovic of Team Serbia reacts at match point to be defeated by Pablo Carreno Busta of Team Spain during the Men’s Singles Bronze Medal Match on day eight of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Tennis Park on July 31, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Amin Mohammad Jamali/Getty Images)

Undoubtedly, going into the Summer Games, Novak was a favorite for gold. However, with 3 losses in 2 days and eventual retirement from the tournament, Novak returned home empty-handed. Safe to say, his wounds from Japan are still fresh, even as he lines up to face those who toppled his winning run there. Can Novak draw first blood, get his revenge, and do the impossible?

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DIVE DEEPER

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Melroy Fernandes

280 articles

Melroy Joseph Fernandes is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. A Mass Media graduate, Melroy has been a content writer for the past 6 years, curating stories for several brands, starting from his own. At the age of 17, Melroy began his writing Journey with Team BIB, an event management company for everything Art and Entertainment.

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