The query put to Novak Djokovic after he gained the French Open for his nineteenth Grand Slam title, shifting inside considered one of rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the boys’s file, was whether or not he ever was resigned to not with the ability to catch them.
The context: Entering the 2011 season, Federer owned 16 main championships, Nadal 9 and Djokovic one.
And whereas Djokovic started by providing a direct reply Sunday evening following his 6-7 (6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas, saying he didn’t think about it “a mission impossible” to convey his trophy assortment according to the opposite members of the Big Three, what adopted was instructive.
“I’ll keep on going. I’ll keep on chasing,” Djokovic mentioned concerning the Slam standings that everybody has been monitoring for some time now as every surpassed the benchmark of 14 established by Pete Sampras.
In the very subsequent breath, Djokovic added: “At the same time, I’ll keep on paving my own path, which is my own authentic path. We — all three of us — have our own journeys, and that’s it.”
So true. So essential to recollect. Because what Djokovic appeared to be saying was: Judge me alone deserves. Look at what I’m undertaking. Let’s not fear concerning the Grand Slam whole. Please do not simply view me compared to Federer and Nadal.
He’s proper. Give him his due. Instead of analyzing the appreciable quantity of feat attained by Djokovic by way of the prism of how he stacks up with the opposite two, take inventory of his path.
This is to not suggest that Djokovic’s popularity or legacy would undergo when the trio is grouped collectively.
If something, the precise reverse is true.
— His semifinal win over Nadal at Roland Garros elevated Djokovic’s lead of their collection to 30-28, and he leads Federer head-to-head, too, 27-23.
— Djokovic is the one man to beat 13-time champion Nadal twice on the French Open and is 3-1 in opposition to eight-time champion Federer at Wimbledon (3-0 in finals, together with saving championship factors in 2019).
— Djokovic is the one one of many three — certainly, the one man within the Open period, which started in 1968 — to win every Grand Slam title twice (Nadal has one on the Australian Open; Federer has one on the French Open) and the one one to win 4 majors in a row (he did that in 2015-16).
— Djokovic holds the file for many weeks at No. 1 within the ATP rankings, eclipsing Federer’s mark.
— Djokovic is the one man to have gained every Masters 1000 occasion twice.
— Djokovic, 34, has gained seven majors since his thirtieth birthday, an Open period file; Nadal, 35, is at six, and Federer, 39, is at 4.
When play begins on the All England Club on June 28, Djokovic would be the two-time defending champion and may set his sights on pursuing a calendar-year Grand Slam. He even can purpose for a Golden Slam, with a gold medal on the Tokyo Olympics thrown in for good measure.
“As (long) as Novak is healthy — and he’s healthy right now; he’s in great shape — I think he has ability to win the Grand Slam for this year. I’m pretty sure,” mentioned Marian Vajda, considered one of Djokovic’s coaches, who joked that he and the opposite one that works with him, Goran Ivanisevic, would give up if their man wins all 4 majors in 2021.
Djokovic was a bit extra sober concerning the matter, reminding everybody that he had a shot to pursue a historic season in 2016 after successful the Australian Open and French Open however misplaced within the third spherical at Wimbledon.
But he would not rule something out for 2021.
Why ought to he, given what he already has performed?
“I mean, definitely in my case, I can say that what I’ve been through in my career, in my life, this journey has been terrific so far. I’ve achieved some things that a lot of people thought it would be not possible for me to achieve,” Djokovic mentioned.
Moments later, he added: “I will enjoy this win and then think about Wimbledon in a few days’ time. I don’t have an issue to say that I’m going for the title in Wimbledon. Of course I am.”