Odds Are That Novak Djokovic Will Be The First Male Tennis Player To Win Golden Slam

Novak Djokovic is the world’s No. 1 player in men’s tennis. If anyone doubted that reality, Djokovic is going out of his way to reinforce his credentials during the 2021 season.

With wins in all three Grand Slams played so far this year – the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon – Djokovic is a U.S. Open triumph away from sweeping all four Grand Slam events. If he pulls it off, the 34-year-old Serb would be the first male player to win all of the Grand Slam events in one year since Australia’s Rod Laver in 1969.

However, Djokovic is positioned to go one step further. Thanks to COVID-19 postponing the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games by a year, Djokovic could become the first men’s player in the history of tennis to capture what’s known as the Golden Slam – winning all four Grand Slam events and the Olympic gold medal. The betting odds at top online sites are suggesting that his chances of achieving this unique milestone are strong.

“Novak Djokovic” by Peter van den Berg/USA Today is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Expectations Are High

Djokovic is also the odds-on favorite to win both the U.S. Open and the Tokyo Olympic gold medal. He’s listed at odds of 4/6 to capture the gold medal in the Olympic men’s singles tournament. Djokovic is given a 10/11 betting line to earn the men’s singles title in the U.S. Open.

His victory at Wimbledon gave Djokovic his 20th Grand Slam title, putting him on even terms with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the most Grand Slams won by male players during the Open Era of tennis (since 1969).

He’s proven to be the dominant Grand Slam player on a hard court (Melbourne), clay court (Roland Garros) and grass court (All England Lawn Tennis Club). Djokovic’s victory over Italy’s Matteo Berrettini at Wimbledon made him the first tennis player to win Grand Slam titles in the same year on three different playing surfaces since Rafael Nadal in 2010.

Djokovic already lists three U.S. Open titles on his resume. He’s won the tournament in 2011, 2015 and 2018. Along with his three U.S. Open titles, he’s won six times now at Wimbledon (2011, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2021). The French Open victory this year was the second for Djokovic. He also was victorious there in 2016. Djokovic has won the Australian Open in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020 and 2021).

When it comes to Grand Slams in men’s tennis, it’s been done three times. Laver’s 1969 sweep marks the only time during the Open Era that a men’s player won the Grand Slam in the same calendar year. ​​Laver also won the Grand Slam in 1962. American Don Budge, in 1938, is the only other men’s player to complete the Grand Slam in a calendar year.

This is the third time that Djokovic has won three of four Grand Slams in the same year. He won all but the French Open in 2011 and all but Wimbledon in 2016. He did hold all four Grand Slam titles simultaneously over a span covering 2015-16.

Only one player in history has achieved the Golden Slam. That was Germany’s Steffi Graf in 1988.

“Novak Djokovic” by AP is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Backing Djokovic To Be Golden

One tennis legend is already backing Djokovic to seal the deal and become the first male player to capture a Golden Slam. Sweden’s Mats Wilander, himself a seven-time Grand Slam winner, is picking Djokovic to be golden and seal the deal.

“I think Novak wins the Golden Slam this year so he will get to 21 (Grand Slams won),” Wilander told BBC Radio Five. “I think he will win another three next year and two or three the following year, so I think he ends up on 25 or 26 (Grand Slam titles).”

Wilander is impressed by the athleticism that Djokovic is displaying as he hits his mid-30s, a time when many players begin to show decline in their game.

“Novak just doesn’t look 34, he looks mid-20s, he’s flying around the court,” Wilander said. “But something could happen with Novak, you never know.”

Djokovic wasn’t ready to guarantee his success on a level equal to Wilander’s faith, but he does like his chances.

“Everything is possible,” Djokovic told Eurosport. “And I did put myself in a good position to go for the Golden Slam.”

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