Tokyo Games: Novak Djokovic confirms plans to continue Golden Slam bid in Japan
Rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, citing respective scheduling and injury issues, have each withdrawn from Tokyo 2020.
But Djokovic confirmed on Thursday (July 15) he will travel to Japan in pursuit of a groundbreaking achievement.
Only women’s tour legend Steffi Graf has previously won all four majors and the Olympics in the same year, doing so in 1988.
Doubles superstars Bob and Mike Bryan held all five titles at once but collected them across 2012 and 2013, while Andre Agassi and Nadal are the only two men’s singles players to achieve the feat across an entire career.
Djokovic has already triumphed at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon in 2021, leaving Tokyo and the US Open still to conquer.
The 20-time grand slam champion – a record he tied at the All England Club on Sunday – has entered the Games three times previously but earned only a single bronze medal. Andy Murray is the two-time defending champion.
At Flushing Meadows, Djokovic is a three-time winner.
The 34-year-old confirmed his Olympics plans in a social media post as he sent a message to a young Japanese fan celebrating his sixth birthday.
“Cannot disappoint my little friend Koujirou,” Djokovic wrote. “I booked my flight for Tokyo and will proudly be joining #TeamSerbia for the Olympics.”
He had said following his Wimbledon win last week: “My plan was always to go to Olympic Games, but right now I’m a little bit divided.”
Djokovic added limitations on his travelling party and potentially being unable to watch fellow athletes had reduced the likelihood of an appearance to “50-50”.
But he will now feature, even if former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash believes the calendar Grand Slam – winning the four majors but not the Olympics – has to be the Serbian’s priority.
Cash told Stats Perform: “It’s the Olympics, okay – maybe he wants to do that, but certainly his goal is now to try and win all four grand slams in the calendar year.
“He has done four in a row, but he hasn’t done them in the same year, which is very, very tough to do.
“There is a reason why I think one person has done it in [men’s] professional tennis – Rod Laver and it was in 1969, so it’s not easy to do.
“But I really do think it’s in his sights and that has got to be his priority.
“It’s absolutely the absolute peak of our sport to win all four grand slams in one year.”
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