Novak Djokovic claimed his ninth Australia Open title in Melbourne earlier this month, bringing up his Grand Slam singles tally up to 18. The Serbian has begun the year in the best possible way, setting up the prospect of a Calendar Grand Slam (all four major titles in the same year) in 2021.
The world number one once again proved to be the most dominant player in the men’s game at Melbourne Park. He beat number four seed Daniil Medvedev in the final in straight sets and is now just two Grand Slam titles away from Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic will now be aiming to pass Federer and Nadal over the next couple of years. The 33-year-old has won six of the last 10 Grand Slam events, a run of victories that has helped him close the deficit on his rivals.
The French Open is the next chance for Djokovic to prevail again in one of tennis’s big four tournaments. He is 3/1 in the latest odds on tennis for the event at Roland-Garros, with only Nadal ahead of him in the betting at evens.
Djokovic has won just once at the Grand Slam in Paris in his career. That victory came in 2016. He will be keen to lift the trophy once again and if he does come out on top this year, he not only will be expected to pass Nadal and Federer’s tally, but he could also be a long way clear of their tallies when he retires.
Nadal Showed Positive Signs In Melbourne
Although he was beaten in the quarter-final of the Australian Open, Nadal is likely to be encouraged by his performances in the first big event of the year. The Spaniard appeared to be over his recent back troubles and remains a big player in the sport.
Nadal is just a year older than Djokovic and he is the obvious man who can rival the Serbian over the next few years on the court. The King of Clay will be looking forward to returning to the French Open when the tournament begins in May. He has been successful at Roland-Garros a record 13 times.
If Nadal continues his domination of the Grand Slam event on clay, he will have a good chance of keeping Djokovic at bay. He blew the world number one away in straight sets in the final in 2020.
Time Running Out For Federer To Add To His Total
Federer is expected to make a return to the court next month in the Qatar Open. All eyes will be on the 39-year-old to see if he can remain at the top end of the world rankings.
The Swiss’ last Grand Slam win came in 2018 in the Australian Open. He is already the oldest winner in the modern era of those big four tournaments. It would be a great story if he found his very best form again, however, he is likely to be up against it now at his age.
It is going to be fascinating to see the sport’s trio of great players battle it out over the next few years in what will be the twilight stages of their careers. Djokovic’s latest success makes it likely that he will break the Grand Slam singles record wins over the next few years.