“He’s Halfway Home”: John McEnroe Optimistic About Novak Djokovic Winning a ‘Golden Slam’ This Year

Published 06/27/2021, 7:17 AM EDT
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

Maverick tennis stalwart John McEnroe has weighed in on the hype around Novak Djokovic being in sight of a ‘Golden Slam’ this year.


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Having bagged the Australian Open and Roland-Garros titles already, the Serb looks well poised to become only the second player in the sport’s history, after Steffi Graf in 1988, to win all four Grand Slams and an individual Olympics gold.

Speaking to reporters on Djokovic’s chances of getting there, McEnroe said the Serb has already crossed the biggest hurdle on his road to a ‘Golden Slam’ by winning the French Open.


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The seven-time Grand Slam champion added that he is impressed with the way the World No.1 has acknowledged the possibility of securing the incredible feat and has been talking about it with the press.

Novak Djokovic has a great chance to win ‘Golden Slam’ if he stays fit, says John McEnroe

However, McEnroe said the challenge for Djokovic to hold himself fighting fit through the season and give himself the best chance of getting there.

“His biggest obstacle to me is if his body holds up through this. It looks amazing. He looked phenomenal. He’s halfway home. He won the tougher one,” the American said.

Calling the reigning Australian Open champion the best player ever on hard courts, McEnroe said if he can stay nice and healthy in the run-up to and during the remaining marquee events, he has a great chance of winning the ‘Golden Slam’.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a forehand in his Men’s Singles first round match against Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany during Day one of The Championships – Wimbledon 2019 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 01, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

“He’s the best player that ever lived, I would say, on hard courts. If he is able to maintain his health through this, I mean, I think he’s got a great shot at winning the (Golden) Slam,” the legend said.

McEnroe says he was unsure if Djokovic would play Tokyo Olympics

He added that the fact that Djokovic has actually said he is traveling to Tokyo is not only great news for Serbia and its medal hopes, but also goes to show how much he believes he can win the ‘Golden Slam’.

“I guess that means that he’s going to go to Tokyo, which would be phenomenal for Serbia. I was wondering whether he’d do that. At this point the fact that he is saying it shows you how much he believes he can do it,” McEnroe said.

Watch This Story: When Novak Djokovic Called Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal The Goat!


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Speaking to reporters ahead of launching his All England campaign, Djokovic said peaking at the Majors and winning them is his biggest motivation at this stage of his career.


“Make the Most Out of Grand Slams”: Novak Djokovic Warns Rivals Ahead of Wimbledon Championships 2021

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The Serb would open his campaign against Jack Draper of Australia on Monday.


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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