What Lies Ahead for Novak Djokovic After French Open 2021 Triumph?

Published 06/16/2021, 2:22 AM EDT


With his second career title at Roland-Garros this year, Novak Djokovic became only the third player in the history of tennis after Rod Laver and Roy Emerson to win all four Grand Slams at least twice.

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Many tennis records have already fallen to him. Earlier this year, he went past Roger Federer’s landmark to record the most number of weeks as World No. 1. He is also the only tennis star of his time to have beaten Federer and Rafael Nadal in all four Grand Slams. The Serb is also the only player to have beaten the Swiss thrice at Wimbledon – 2014, 2015, and 2019.

Novak Djokovic is in sight of a calendar Grand Slam this year

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If there’s one feat that Djokovic hasn’t attained as yet it is that he has never won a calendar Slam. But that feat doesn’t seem too far now as he has already lifted two Grand Slam titles this year and given how he has gone in recent weeks, winning the remaining two at Wimbledon and the US Open is very much in the realm of the possible.

Playing some of the best tennis he ever has, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that there, perhaps, hasn’t been another moment in his career when he has looked better placed at winning the four Slams than now.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 13, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates winning the final against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
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Djokovic braved a muscle tear to win the Australian Open

Braving an abdominal muscle tear that he suffered during his grueling and nerve-wracking five-set win over American Taylor Fritz in the third round, Djokovic demonstrated unbelievable grit and resolve to lift a record career ninth Australian Open title.

He had later revealed that such was the extent of his tear that he would have withdrawn from Melbourne Park had it not been a Grand Slam.

Coming into the French Open as one of the firm title contenders, the Serb survived a major scare against teenager Italian Lorenzo Musetti before turning the tables on him to reach the quarter-final.

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Faced with the defending champion and 13-time winner Rafael Nadal in the semi-final, the Serbian played arguably the match of his life to end the Spaniard’s lordship at Roland-Garros.

Summoning his iron grit after going two sets down in the final against a resolute Stefanos Tsitsipas, Djokovic turned it around again to lift his 19th Grand Slam title, one short of going level with Federer and Nadal’s career haul.

With the Spaniard unsure of traveling to Wimbledon and Federer wary of his knees, the World No. 1 knows he has a genuine shot at a calendar Grand Slam. Can he do it? Time will tell.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

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Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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