After the draw (even before) of the 2021 Wimbledon men’s main draw, Novak Djokovic was designated as the ultra favorite to lift the trophy for the 6th time. Winning a slam is tough enough, but doing it when everyone is expecting you to do so is even harder.
But for Novak, the pressure did not end there. After his win in Roland-Garros, the world number 1 had boldly said the following : “I’ve achieved some things that a lot of people thought it would be not possible for me to achieve. So everything is possible, and I did put myself in a good position to go for the Golden Slam.” As if the existing pressure was not enough, Novak ordered another round.
For the next 2 months the debate is over : there are 3 GOATS.
I am « team Rafa ». I am a big fan of the Spaniard, and yet I can’t imagine him for one second pronouncing such a sentence in press conference. Novak did not hesitate and for the moment he has delivered the goods. Next step : Tokyo.
We already know that Rafael Nadal will not be there. As per Roger Federer, nothing is decided yet. Even though, let’s be honest, the Swiss is no longer the a real threat to Djokovic. Others will however be a threat in Japan such as Medvedev, Tsitsipas or Zverev, but aside from them, tough to imagine someone getting in the Serb ’s way.
In my opinion, New-York will be the decider. Obviously you might think. Yes, but what I mean is that things will be more complicated for him there or at least less simple. Rafa will be back on his feet and the pressure will be at defcon 5.
By joining Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal with 20 Grand Slam titles, Novak Djokovic has shut up all of those who (still) don’t put him at the same level as the two others. For the next 2 months the debate is over : there are 3 GOATS. But in 60 days or so, potentially there could be only one left and it will be neither Roger Federer nor Rafael Nadal …
We are lucky enough to witness history in the making.
One can love or hate Djokovic. Criticize his attitude on or off the court, but there comes a time when one can no longer deny the obvious. If Novak Djokovic win’s the Olympics and the US Open, he will have achieved a Golden Slam. He will then be at 21 majors, leaving behind the two others. If Roger Federer captures one more Slam, it will be somewhat of a miracle, whereas Rafael Nadal may have two more titles, at best, to pick up. Nole, however, is no where close to stopping. He is fit, which he has mad every clear, so why could 4, 5 or 6 more titles not be a realistic goal for him ?
I want to conclude by emphasizing the performance of this trio. 60 Grand Slams ! We have a tendency to forget how amazing it is. There have been big champions in the past, but one needs to add a few together before getting to 60 titles.
Numbers don’t lie. When one thinks of past champions, names that come to mind quickly are Sampras, Agassi, Edberg, McEnroe, Borg, Wilander. So what do you think those champs reach together ? 14+8+6+6+7+11+7 = 59 ! Of course this list is totally arbitrary but it gives you an idea of the size of the performance.
It’s just overwhelming and we are lucky enough to witness history in the making. How sweet it is.
Well done Novak, well done gentlemen and thank you.
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