Novak Djokovic has become the author of a truly exceptional 2021, which he failed to put the icing on the cake. The world number 1 attempted to storm the ‘Calendar Grand Slam’, a feat only the legendary Rod Laver achieved in the Open Era.
The Serbian champion won the first three Slams of the season, beating as many Next Gen members in the final (Daniil Medvedev at the Australian Open, Stefanos Tsitsipas at Roland Garros and Matteo Berrettini at Wimbledon).
The 34-year-old Balkan also reached the final act at the US Open, but was unable to overcome Medvedev’s stumbling block at Arthur Ashe Stadium. The tension and fatigue played a trick on the 20-time Grand Slam champion, who had to postpone overtaking his eternal rivals, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Right during the New York tournament, Novak faced young American Jenson Brooksby in the second round. Backed by a friendly crowd, the 20-year-old from Sacramento played a sci-fi set and a half before falling to Djokovic’s punches.
In a recent interview, his coach Joseph Gilbert admitted that Jenson Brooksby was highly inspired by Novak Djokovic. “Jenson always knew that he was a big fan of ‘Nole’ If he is not the best of all time, he certainly falls into the Top 3.
I really like Nole’s gameplay, his patterns and his style. I’ve seen a lot of his games and we had a very specific plan to upset him in New York. Starting in the middle of the second set, Djokovic raised his level even higher and there was nothing else to do.
That lengthy game in the middle of the second set drained the last of Brooksby’s energy. His engine literally blew up in the second half of the match,” Gilbert said.
Ivanisevic speaks about Djokovic
Unless there is a huge turnaround, Novak Djokovic should miss the US Open, the United States not allowing non-vaccinated people to enter their territory.
Inevitably disappointed, Goran Ivanisevic nevertheless respects his player’s position and defends him firmly in the face of criticism. “I respect and appreciate him, he made a decision that he will not change. When they proclaim him as a leader, as someone having a bad influence on people, it is false.
He doesn’t want to get vaccinated, he doesn’t want to put it into his body, and he’s never told others not to get vaccinated. I respect and support his decision,” said the Croatian coach in comments reported by Tennis365.