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Djokovic On The Brink of Tennis Immortality

Novak Djokovic reacts after scoring a point against Kei Nishikori during their third-round match at the U.S. Open. (John Minchillo
Novak Djokovic reacts after scoring a point against Kei Nishikori during their third-round match at the U.S. Open. (John Minchillo / Associated Press)

To call this year a success for Novak Djokovic would be an understatement. Sunday, he looks to do something only five players, male or female, have ever accomplished- complete the calendar Grand Slam. A feat that was last conquered by Rod Laver in 1969 (Laver also won the calendar slam in 1962). With earlier wins at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon, Djokovic looks to close out the US Open this weekend. He would join the short list of calendar slam winners and stand alone with the most overall Grand Slam titles (21). Djokovic has seamlessly been playing in the shadows of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for the last decade. With the three consistently trading off titles, Djokovic is starting to separate himself from the group. Each with 20 Grand Slam titles, Djokovic is in a prime position to win number 21 and beyond.

Djokovic’s domination is in no position to slow down. With injuries to both Federer and Nadal as well as a dominating performance thus far at the US Open, Djoker looks unstoppable. Federer will undergo his fourth knee surgery since 2016 this off season putting his future in question. The optimism is there but at 40 years old the path to recovery is a bit longer. Nadal (36), also pulling out of the US Open, has a left foot injury and lingering issues with his shoulder and knees. Too many questions surround them to make any long-term assumptions so for now the stage is Djokovic’s.

The Rematch

The only man standing in the way of history is the young Russian phenom, Daniil Medvedev. This will be Medvedev’s third attempt at winning a Grand Slam title. Sunday’s championship match will be a repeat of the Australian Open which Djokovic went on to win in straight sets. Medvedev, however, looks like a different player and has cruised his way to the final after only dropping one set the entire tournament. Earlier this year he claimed the #2 ranking in the world which no other man besides Djokavic, Federer, Nadal and Andy Murray have held since 2005. With this being Medvedev’s third attempt at a Grand Slam title and Djoker’s shot at history, the stage has been set for a historic Sunday at Arthur Ashe stadium.

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