Novak Djokovic, aka Nole, has become the first player in “Open Era” to have won the career Grand Slam twice. This Serbian player has now achieved 19 ‘Majors’ titles( 9 Australian Opens, 5 Wimbeldons, 3 U.S. Opens and 2 French Opens) and 84 ATP Singles Tournaments, which is indeed, an impeccable achievement.
The segregation between amateurs and professionals in 1968 was the beginning of modern tennis and led to “Open Era”, i.e. the Grand Slam Tournaments allowed professional players to compete with amateurs, thus, ending the rigid divisions in the sport.
But why is Djokovic’s recent French Open win the only thing tennis fans seem to be talking about? The French Open is considered to be the toughest of the four Majors. It is because Rafael Nadal has won a whopping 13 French Open titles since 2005,i.e. 13 in last 17 years, which is a record for any player in any major tournament. The fact that Novak Djokovic beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in the 2021 final is thus, definitely, a big and astonishing feat.
The French Open, also known as Roland Garros is held annually in the months of May and June. Played since 1928 on outdoor red clay courts at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris, France, it’s one of the four Majors. The winner receives the Coupe des Mousquetaires(named after The Four Muskeeters of French Tennis: Jean Borotra, Jacques Brugnon, Henri Cochet, and René Lacoste). Wimbledon, on the other hand is held on a grass court and The U.S. Open and The Australian Open are held on a hard court.
Djokovic is now just one major away from equalling the all-time record of 20, that is presently jointly held by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. He is still a year younger than Nadal and about 6 years younger than Federer and is already halfway to a rare calendar grand slam.
Basically, if a player wins all the four Majors in a single year, it’s referred to as a calendar Grand Slam. If a player wins all the four majors not in the same calendar year, it’s called a non-calendar year Grand Slam. And if a player wins all the four Majors throughout the expanse of his/her career, it’s called a career Grand Slam. Winning the gold medal at the Summer Olympic Games in addition to the four majors in one calendar year is known as “golden Grand Slam”.
Don Budge(1938) and Rod Laver(1962 and 1969) are the only two other men who have won the calendar Grand Slam. For women, there are only three players with this achievement, i.e. Maureen Connolly Brinker(1953), Margaret Court (1970) and Steffi Graf(1988). The fact that only 5 players have achieved this feat in a set of tournaments originating over 100 years ago, speaks volumes to the degree of difficulty involved. Rod Laver and Roy Emerson won the career Grand Slam twice.
Everybody seems to be questioning, “Who will be the next tennis G.O.A.T?”
LET’S WAIT AND WATCH as Wimbeldon is starting within two weeks, i.e. 28 June
see you soon, stay tuned for more.