STARNBERG, July 28, 2021 (by Alex Jack)
It has already been a year to remember for Novak Djokovic, and now it will take a real upset to deny the Serbian star a clean sweep of the Grand Slam titles in 2021.
The 34-year-old has joined rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer with 20 career Grand Slam titles, and it looks like Djokovic is ready to leave them in his wake at the 2021 US Open.
Djokovic Reaching Top Form as Rivals Dwindle
It was Djokovic who hit the ground running this season with his success at the Australian Open, and since then he’s been a clear favorite in most tennis bets in 2021. Those who watched the form and backed the pre-tournament favourite in both the French Open and Wimbledon will have been rewarded, as Djokovic shone at both Roland-Garros and the All-England Club.
What will be a troubling sight for both Nadal and Federer, is that Djokovic seems to be showing no signs of slowing down. After a French Open semi-final defeat to the Serb, Nadal decided to sit out Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The Spaniard said he was looking at “mind and long term” goals, while perhaps he also saw the writing on the wall of what Djokovic would be capable of at Wimbledon.
Federer withdrew from action at the French Open, with the Swiss veteran also looking to manage his time ahead of Wimbledon. However, it was not to be a 21st career Grand Slam title at SW19, as Federer suffered defeat in the quarter-finals at the hands of 14th seed Hubert Hurkacz. While Djokovic already has three Grand Slam titles to his name this year, questions are being raised on whether Nadal or Federer will ever taste success in a major once again.
Djokovic Defying Years
What was so impressive regarding Djokovic’s wins at the French Open and Wimbledon, was the limited preparation time between the two Grand Slams this year. The clay surfaces of Roland-Garros are some of the most physically demanding on the circuit, and Djokovic had only two weeks to get himself recovered and adapted to the grass courts of Wimbledon.
That challenge proved too much for veterans Nadal and Federer, while it was also overwhelming for Stefanos Tsitsipas, who fell in the first round of Wimbledon to the American Frances Tiafoe. It was Greek star Tsitsipas who held a two-set lead in the French Open final before Djokovic produced his impressive comeback. While Djokovic, who is currently aiming for a gold medal at the Toyko Games, took that winning momentum into Wimbledon, Tsitsipas failed to adapt after being tipped to go far at the All-England Club.
Djokovic’s form and confidence appear to be at an all-time high, and that’s a dangerous combination as he looks for a clean sweep of the 2021 Grand Slams at Flushing Meadows.