Novak Djokovic understands, of course, everything that lies ahead in the next two weeks, and if that goes well, what else will be on the horizon for him in the coming weeks and months.
Win his next seven Wimbledon matches, starting Monday with the traditional honor given to the defending champion at the opening of the proceedings at the Court Center on Day 1, and Djokovic will hold three consecutive All England Club titles.
Add those to the other three he won on the grass there to make a total of six, and to the record nine trophies he holds from the hard courts of the Australian Open, and to three of the hard courts at the US Open and to both of the clay courts. courts of the French Open – try to list all this without pausing – and his total Grand Slam collection will reach 20.
This will bind the men’s brand, first achieved by Roger Federer in 2018, then last year caught up with Rafael Nadal (who sits outside Wimbledon).
Currently, Djokovic, ranked No. 1, has won seven of the last 12 helmets, the most for a man after the age of 30.
Puzzling things, yes. But there is more.
“The biggest challenge and the biggest task is always how to be present and how to stay in the moment, regardless of the possibilities, the hypotheses and the different options that are there,” Djokovic said in a video conference on Saturday before reporters’ reviews. “There’s always something online, for me – probably Roger and Rafa – when it comes to tennis history over the last few years. We were very successful, especially in Slam. “
So let’s follow what kind of history of tennis is potentially online.
If the 34-year-old from Serbia wins Wimbledon in two weeks – FanDuel Sportsbook lists him as a men’s favorite, as almost every subject or anyone who pays attention to tennis – it would make him 3 for 3 in the specialties in 2021; he triumphed in Melbourne Park in February and then Roland Garros two weeks ago.
The French Open, where he dethroned 13-time champion Nadal in the semifinals and then came from two sets to Stefanos Tsitsipas’ five-leg victory in the final, “took a lot from me, I think, mentally and physically and emotionally,” Djokovic said. then spread his arms wide for an accent, adding, “It also gave me an incredible amount of positive energy and confidence, which created a wave that I’m trying to ride, so to speak.”
If he can really carry that momentum through Wimbledon, then the title will take him three-quarters of the way to the real calendar Grand Slam, the trail there, but still working – to an achievement that would be remarkable in itself, because no one Man has not been a champion even in the first three major tournaments of the season since Rod Laver won all four in 1969.
Djokovic does this by pairing a huge comeback and defense with incomparable mental strength.
“I admire his endless commitment to the sport day in and day out,” said Jack Draper, the 250-year-old wild card from England, who is ranked 250th and will make his Grand Slam debut in the main draw against Djokovic. . “As a professional, I can appreciate it. This is one of the hardest things to do. But I think he just understands that. Obviously his ability to play tennis is huge, so it will definitely be a difficult challenge on Monday for me. “
Also emerging at the moment and being discussed as an opportunity in Paris by both Djokovic and one of his coaches, Marian Vajda, is a “Golden Slam”, which would lead to winning the four specialties plus a gold medal at the Summer Olympics, which begin in Tokyo on July 23, less than two weeks after the conclusion of Wimbledon.
As if that wasn’t all to think about, Djokovic is a busy man with no rocket in his hands.
He is a husband and father and joined Canadian professional Vasek Pospisil to form the Professional Tennis Association (PTPA), a group they hope can represent the interests of athletes in their sport who have no union.
“Once I’m on the court, I try to lock myself in and try to rule out all distractions. I feel that over the years I have been able to develop the mechanism that allows me to do that, “Djokovic said. “Everyone has their own special ways to center, to focus, to really focus, so to speak, energy on the most important thing that is the present moment.”