The world often sets its eyes on a person, when they are at the cusp of achieving something beyond believable. Some people simply strive for success and they find it through continuous effort and some luck here and there.
Being the world number 1 in tennis, Novak Djokovic had a lot of eyes on him this year. 2021 was a very interesting year for tennis and while still not finished, the story of Novak Djokovic’s Golden Slam lit up like a bright candle and was slowly extinguished in the end. Here is more on the topic.
A Very Strong Start
As it often is, Novak Djokovic has comfort and experience while playing at the Australian Open, a hard-court tournament that favors his gameplay and generally has. Even though he struggled, he won the finals against Daniil Medvedev in straight sets, though it was a tough final.
He surprised the world after he beat Rafael Nadal at the French Open in the semifinals, in a grueling 4 hours and 13 minutes, where the third set was an hour and a half long. In four epic sets, he was through to the finals where he battled Stefanos Tsitsipas for his 19th Grand Slam trophy, in a five-setter which was only a minute shorter than the semifinals.
At Wimbledon, he was unstoppable.
Even though he lost the opening set to wild card Jack Draper, Djokovic’s grass experience proved too much for every opponent and his 20th Grand Slam victory was there, tying him with peers and tennis legends Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
The Olympics – The Golden Slam Gone
At the Olympics, Djokovic was playing both the singles and doubles with fellow countrywoman, Nina Stojanovic. Everything went well until Djokovic met Zverev in the semifinals, where he lost in 3 sets. They also lost the following double mixed semifinals, leaving them competing for third place.
A disheartened and tired Djokovic, from all the humidity and double matches per day, lost to Pablo Carreno Busta for the Bronze medal and withdrew from the mixed doubles match, leaving him and Stojanovic medalless in both categories.
The Calendar Slam Attempt
So close yet so far. The calendar slam did not happen, even though Djokovic tried his best. Compared to Daniil Medvedev, he was not the better player in the finals and it showed. Glimpses of Djokovic were caught in the last set, when at match point down, but in the end, Medvedev prevailed and took home his first Grand Slam.
Typically, Djokovic fares worse at the US Open and this year, it wasn’t different.
There was a very emotional interview where he thanked the fans for feeling love for the first time at the US Open court, despite the tough loss.
The Golden Slam is something that has rarely happened in the history of the Open Era, with only Steffi Graf doing it in 1988. Novak Djokovic was on the track in 2021, but due to the fact that tennis is a very competitive sport, he failed to do so. Will he get another chance, is the question, but he will definitely compete and strive for more slams.