Djokovic admits Golden Slam schedule was nearly impossible

As Novak Djokovic Stepping up his quest for history and chasing an Olympic title in Tokyo, the world number one admitted on Thursday that he never really believed a Golden Grand Slam schedule would one day be possible.

History awaits the Serbian after victories at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon, with Djokovic looking to emulate Steffi Graf’s unparalleled performance in 1988 when she swept all four majors and won gold in women’s singles in Seoul.

“I have the utmost respect and admiration for Steffi and all she has accomplished in her career and the mark she has left in our sport,” Djokovic said at a team press conference. Serbian.

“When I thought about the ultimate feat she had, which was the four Grand Slams and Olympic gold in one year, I didn’t think it would be, I don’t mean achievable, but that there’s a slim chance someone could do it again, male or female. “

With longtime rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer missing from the draw for 64 male players in Tokyo, Djokovic is the big favorite for the Olympic crown.

“At the moment, it feels more and more realistic to me. Of course, that’s one of the goals and dreams, but it’s hard to compare sports and circumstances back to when she was playing and now.” , Djokovic said.

“But still, the champion mentality that she (Graf) has is definitely something that inspires me, so I hope I can use it in my future tasks.”

Djokovic won bronze at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, but missed a medal four years later after losing to Juan Martin del Potro. The Argentine then dumped a tearful Djokovic in the first round in Rio de Janeiro.

Best preparation imaginable

Djokovic joked that he was “relieved” not to see Del Potro in this year’s tournament, and said it was “a little strange” to play an event without Nadal and Federer, having matched their record. of 20 Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon.

“I haven’t had too many big tournaments in the last 15 years without Roger and Rafa playing, so it’s a bit strange because I’m used to seeing at least one,” said declared Djokovic.

“But there are still some of the best players in the world here.

“(Daniil) Medvedev, (Stefanos) Tsitsipas, (Alexander) Zverev and Andrey (Rublev) – they are among the top six, seven in the world and they are the biggest contenders to win a medal.”

Djokovic, who admitted feeling nervous during previous Olympics, will start his campaign against Hugo Dellien, the world number 139 from Bolivia.

“I’m going to approach it like it’s a normal tournament,” said Djokovic.

“I have arguably already had the best Grand Slam season in my sport so far. I couldn’t have had better preparation for the Olympics than I have had this year.

“It’s still a very long road to potential historic achievement. I’ve put myself in a very good position.

“I know there is a lot at stake, I know there is history at stake, but I am privileged and motivated to be in this position, I have worked very hard to be there.

“But let’s talk about history if everything goes well here after the tournament is over.”

Source: News24

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