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Sport 'Scary good' Djokovic eyes historic achievement

10:26  14 june  2021
10:26  14 june  2021 Source:   wwos.nine.com.au

Tennis - Roland-Garros (H): Djokovic Galère then goes on abandonment, Schwartzman offers a third quarter

 Tennis - Roland-Garros (H): Djokovic Galère then goes on abandonment, Schwartzman offers a third quarter © Panoramic Djokovic 2 070621 Led two to sets by Lorenzo Musetti, Novak Djokovic won the two sleeves The following then took advantage of the abandonment of the Italian in the fifth. After 2018 and 2020, Diego Schwartzman will argue the third quarterfinium of his career in Roland-Garros after his victory over Jan-Lennard Struff.

The coach of Roland Garros champion Novak Djokovic says the Serbian is targeting what no other male player has ever done - the Golden Slam.

Only Steffi Graf in 1988 has achieved the feat of winning all four grand slam tournaments, plus the Olympic gold medal in the same calendar year.

With the Australian Open and Roland Garros titles already in his keeping this year, Djokovic will start a short-priced favourite on the Wimbledon grass in a fortnight's time, and again at Flushing Meadows in September.

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Not since Rod Laver in 1969 has a male won all four grand slam titles in the same year.

a close up of a man in a hat using a cell phone: Novak Djokovic with the Roland Garros trophy. © Getty Novak Djokovic with the Roland Garros trophy.

"Obviously his goal and our goal is to win the Olympics and then win the Grand Slam," said coach Marian Vajda. "That would be the absolutely top of this year. But it's still far away from us. We have to still focus on the next one.

"But overall he's set up for this year. His priority is really set up like Wimbledon, Olympics, and US Open. I think that says all. His schedule is according that we practice and prepare for those tournaments."

This isn't the first time Djokovic has found himself in this position as he leaves Paris. In 2016 he also won both the Australian Open and Roland Garros, before the grand slam dream ended at the hands of American Sam Querrey in the third round at Wimbledon.

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Serbia's Novak Djokovic returns the ball to Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece during their final match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium Sunday, June 13, 2021 in Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) © AP Serbia's Novak Djokovic returns the ball to Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece during their final match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium Sunday, June 13, 2021 in Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

His Olympic hopes that year also came to an abrupt end, when he was beaten by Juan Martin del Potro in the first round in Rio, the first time in seven years he'd lost in the opening round of a tournament.


Video: Tsitsipas clinches maiden Grand Slam final berth (Wide World of Sports)

"Everything is possible," Djokovic said of the Golden Slam.

"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.

"Everything is possible, and I did put myself in a good position to go for the Golden Slam. But, you know, I was in this position in 2016 as well."

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Djokovic, who downed Stefanos Tsitispas 6-7 (6-8) 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4 to claim his second Roland Garros title, noted the shortened Wimbledon preparation this year will make things difficult.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic reacts after winning a point against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece during their final match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium Sunday, June 13, 2021 in Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler) © AP Serbia's Novak Djokovic reacts after winning a point against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece during their final match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium Sunday, June 13, 2021 in Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Normally there'd be three weeks before Wimbledon, but this year Roland Garros was moved back a week in reaction to the COVID-19 situation in France.

"This year we have only two weeks between the first round of Wimbledon and the finals here, which is not ideal because you go from really two completely different surfaces, trying to make that transition as smooth as possible, as quickly and efficiently as possible," Djokovic explained.

"So obviously 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. I've had a great success in the last couple of Wimbledon seasons that were played. I won in '18 and '19 there. Hopefully I can keep that run going.

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Novak Djokovic won the Australian Open in February. © Getty Novak Djokovic won the Australian Open in February.

"I like the grass. Over the years I think I improved on grass, I adjusted my game. Hopefully I can use this confidence that I have right now into Wimbledon, as well. Then let's take it from there."

Seven-time grand slam champion Mats Wilander said Djokovic has every chance of claiming all four major titles this year.

"We are now heading into the season where we would have to put Novak as the favourite to win Wimbledon most probably, favourite at the US Open because of what he does on hard courts – so yes, it's on and the way he looks – he looks young, he looks so fresh at the end, he looks scary good and motivated," Wilander told Eurosport.

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