Novak Djokovic eyes history at Tokyo Olympics that no man has ever won
On a Midas touch spree, 20-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic will hope to stay on course to become the first man to win a Calendar Golden Slam.
Of late, the spotlight on the Big Three of tennis is lingering heavily on newly-coronated 20-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic more than the other two equal Slam shareholders - Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Smashing practically all records and creating new ones, Novak Djokovic scaled up the ladder on the G.O.A.T debate to cement himself more strongly as he won his sixth Wimbledon Championship crown last Sunday.
Having already won the Australian Open, the French Open earlier this year, the 34-year-old World No. 1 silenced all his nay-sayers by levelling with the all-time greats - Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at 20 Slams with the Big W win.
Initially a little skeptical about participating at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, Novak Djokovic has decided to not let this 'golden' opportunity slide and will now be heading to Tokyo to represent Serbia.
"I am very proud to pack for Tokyo and join our national team in the fight for the brightest medals on the Olympic arenas," he wrote on Twitter. "For me, the game for Serbia has always been a special joy and motivation and I will do my best to make us all happy!"
Novak Djokovic's tryst with golden history
Djokovic, who has been a bronze medallist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics where he was handed a crushing defeat by eventual gold medallist Rafael Nadal in the semis, will be eager to upgrade to the yellow metal in Tokyo.
At the 2016 Rio Games, Djokovic's campaign was once again halted to an end when Britain's Andy Murray dashed his hopes for gold in the semis and Juan Martin del Potro robbed him of a chance at bronze.
However, the years have rolled quite dramatically for the Serb, who only has a list of successes to recall in immediate hindsight now - having plundered the Slam circuit very wholly. History lies at stake for Novak as he will set sail for the Japanese capital to keep the discussion on being the first man to win the Calendar Golden Slam very much throbbing and alive.
If Novak Djokovic goes on to win the Olympic gold and follows it up with a US Open victory, the fourth and last Slam of the season, the Serb will sit permanently in the books of history as the first male tennis player to achieve this incredible feat - a sharp reminder of his dominance on the tour.
Previously, only Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal and Andre Agassi have bagged this prestigious Calendar Slam but nobody in the men's circuit has been able to achieve the Calendar Golden Slam record.
The Midas touch of Novak Djokovic
With Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer deciding to sit out the Tokyo Olympics, it is all but a clear passage for Novak Djokovic to clinch a maiden gold and a second medal at the Olympics. Aspiring to repeat the feat of a 19-year-old Steffi Graf who won all the 4 Grand Slams and collected the gold medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, Novak Djokovic will become the first man to emulate this mind-boggling feat if he manages to tick the remainder of the boxes.
Given the phenomenal run the Serb is currently on, it seems most unlikely that he can be stopped by anyone from taking possession of a Calendar Golden Slam. As the record books keep busy scribbling the name of Djokovic as he scripts one achievement after the other, one cannot help but marvel at the growth he has shown over the years.
"I have to pay a great tribute to Rafa and Roger. They are legends of our sport and they are the two most important players that I've ever faced in my career. They are I think the reason that I am where I am today. They have helped me realize what I need to do in order to improve get stronger mentally, physically, tactically," Novak Djokovic said during his post-championship win speech at Wimbledon.
To conjure the perfect analogy - Novak Djokovic has moulded himself with adamantium, chipping away at himself till he is the very best – a clinical player of the game, mentally dominating with nerves of steel and being physically one of the fittest at 34. It isn't an easy task to maintain this level of form and switch surfaces from hard courts and go to the clay swing and onward to the grass within a matter of weeks but Novak Djokovic has proved his machine-like, technical prowess once again.
With just the US Open title remaining to be won this year, Novak Djokovic will head into the Tokyo Olympics as the raging favourite. Hardly any threat lies in his way as he will aspire for gold and hope to walk in the steps of Graf as there aren't any real challenges to be overcome at Tokyo for him.
If Novak Djokovic manages to win the Olympic gold and stays on track to lift the US Open - a 21st Slam - the highest in the men's Slam tally, he will overturn the history books. All of this can be very much reality and can be said without any inkling of doubt because Djokovic is enjoying a stunning form currently and like Midas, practically any tournament he enters now, he will come back with gold and top honours.