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

Published 06/20/2021, 9:47 AM EDT


Former doubles great Todd Woodbridge has heaped accolades on Novak Djokovic, saying that he is well poised to win a Golden Slam this.

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The Serbian, who upstaged Roger Federer this year as the player with the most number of weeks as World No.1, ran on superhuman grit to lift a record ninth Australian Open title despite suffering an abdominal muscle tear in his third-round win over American Taylor Fritz.

Novak Djokovic played the tennis of his life to win French Open

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Following his triumph down under, the Serb faced an uphill task of going past 13-time champion Rafael Nadal in the semifinals at Roland-Garros, Djokovic played arguably the tennis of his life to come through in four sets.

Going two sets down against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the championship clash, the Serb yet brought his never-say-die spirit and mental toughness to bear on the Greek to win an epic five-setter and lift his second career title at the French Open.

With both Grand Slams in his kitty this year, the Serb has not only got himself within touching distance of Federer and Nadal’s career haul of 20 titles but is also the favorite going into Wimbledon. However, Woodbridge is backing Djokovic to make 2021 a golden year with a feat that only a few have accomplished in the game.

“The Golden Slam is in his plans, there is no doubt about that,” the Australian doubles legend said.

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

He added that the desire and clear mental edge over Tsitsipas that helped him overcome a two-set deficit and lift the title at Roland-Garros will give him the aura of the invincible going into Wimbledon.

Djokovic doesn’t have a singles gold in Olympics

“What Djokovic achieved in Paris, coming back two sets in the final, is one of the greatest mental feats I have seen,” Woodbridge said.

(Quotes have been translated via Google)

For the uninitiated, Golden Slam is an incredible feat that sees a player win all four Grand Slams and an individual Olympic Gold in the same calendar year.

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If there’s one accomplishment that has eluded Djokovic in all his years in tennis, it is a singles gold at the Summer Olympics. However, few would bet against him getting there in what is turning out to be a momentous year in his career.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

1101 articles

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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